Illinois Wills and Trusts – The Use and Limitations of No Contest Clauses

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Grief from losing a loved one can cause irrational behavior in even the most level-headed of people. When an inheritance is factored into the equation, arguments between family members can become downright volatile. In some cases, things can become so explosive that it irreparably damages relationships. This risk is why many people choose to create wills and trusts; they want to reduce the possibility of family strife. Unfortunately, it does not always work. Miffed family members can still contest a will or trust. An in terrorem provision may help. 

In Terrorem Provisions

An in terrorem provision, or a no contest clause, is sometimes used to discourage the contesting of a will or trust. It specifies that an heir may either lose their inheritance or receive only a nominal amount of money if they contest the validity of their loved one’s will or trust. Unfortunately, it is not always enough of a deterrent, and contests are still possible. 

Contests Can Still Occur

You can take all the right steps and put all the protective provisions in place, but you still cannot completely control what family members do once you are gone. Some may still contest the will, fully knowing they are at risk of losing their inheritance. Granted, individuals with smaller inheritances are far more likely to do so, but even those with a substantial amount to lose may consider the risk worth their potential gain. In some cases, that gain may not even relate to the inheritance; it could, instead, relate to getting “even” with a family member. 

Enforcement of No Contest Clauses in Illinois

An in terrorem provision is not much of a deterrent if it is not enforceable. Unfortunately, the law in Illinois is rather vague when it comes to the enforceability of no contest clauses. At least one court has overruled a no contest provision, stating that the contest was filed in good faith. However, that does not mean that all no contest provisions will be thrown out. Assistance from an experienced attorney can decrease the risk of language issues in your will or trust. As a result, your wishes are more likely to be honored by both your loved ones and the courts. 

Contact Our Arlington Heights Wills and Trusts Attorneys

If you fear family members may try to contest your will or trust and want to reduce the risk with an in terrorem provision, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Experienced and dedicated to preserving your estate, our Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers will carefully examine your situation to help you develop a creative and comprehensive solution. Schedule your consultation by calling 847-934-6000 today.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Recent Posts


Inverness real estate lawyer Joliet general practice lawyers underinsured motorist boating accidents insurance adjusters trauma after an accident overtime pay Palatine business attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer life insurance Illinois trusts attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer dynasty trusts Chicago lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney car crashes Schaumburg civil litigation attorney paid sick leave breathalyzer test employment contract Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act real estate attorney denied insurance claims estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Illinois insurance attorney wills and trusts insurance agent negligence living trust traffic tickets Palatine elder law attorney landlord hiring employees pedestrian-automobile accident Palatine workers compensation lawyer living wills BAIID Des Plaines tax law firm employee misclassification Long Grove estate planning attorneys Schaumburg corporate attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys Des Plaines accident attorney medical malpractice compensation Jay Andrew Arlington Heights tax lawyer personal injury Crystal Lake car accident attorney operating agreements bicycle dooring accidents Buffalo Grove corporate attorney fiduciary rule trench injuries creditors Palatine real estate lawyer life insurance policy Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Palatine corporate attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, boating under the influence drugs Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois traffic laws estate planning lawyer Des Plaines pet law attorney insurance dispute Schaumburg insurance lawyers Des Plaines personal injury lawyer personal injury law firm Barrington personal injury attorney guardianship attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney field sobriety test real estate closing Barrington employment attorney car accident lawyers traffic laws Barrington criminal defense lawyer suspended license Illinois personal injury lawyer mass shooting Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Illinois car accident attorney Illinois employment law firm Illinois Sales Representative Act BAC loopholes medical malpractice IRELA holiday statistics mortgage bike accident back injuries rent to own real estate contracts trustee work unions corporate law cell phone tower data Des Plaines digital information Kenilworth estate planning attorney Barrington litigation attorney driving Arlington Heights car accident lawyer slip and fall Illinois criminal defense attorney defective products lawyer workplace sexual harassment power of attorney for healthcare commercial leasing Mount Prospect elder law attorney defective products Palatine probate lawyer right to work Illinois collections attorney Illinois insurance disputes texting while driving bad faith insurance claims Barrington injury attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Arlington Heights injury attorney wills personal injury claim Illinois tax attorney power of attorney food poisoning insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys privacy healthcare estate tax probate agent Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois estate planning attorney traffic offenses home inspection lawyer Arlington Heights employment law attorneys loss of consortium Home Sale Contingencies workers compensation benefits Illinois employment laws boating DUI Forcible Entry preventable medical errors Illinois wills and trusts attorneys caregiver pet law Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Policy Cancellation motorcycle accident insurance claim dispute attorney insurance claim denials federal crimes Chicago attorney Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer elder law clemency Schaumburg elder law lawyer Inverness accident lawyer elder abuse Crystal Lake employment lawyer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Illinois will lawyer estate planning attorney drug crimes lawyer Illinois home inspection Des Plaines civil attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys license reinstatement Palatine personal injury lawyer Palatine injury attorney ObamaCare nursing home negligence estate planning for college students attorney fees Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney startup company license revocation traumatic brain injuries real estate attorneys wage theft Barrington attorney Palatine traffic accidents insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Illinois probate lawyer liability claims Chicago insurance claim attorneys Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Illinois construction accident attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Illinois wills and trusts DGAA LLCs Rolling Meadows tax attorney Illinois medical malpractice lawyers vacation home fines BUI Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Illinois defective products attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer sole proprietorship Des Plaines collections attorney Rolling Meadows employment law attorney irrevocable trust golf accidents estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers swimming pools sexual harassment Illinois employment attorneys Deer Park employment law attorney Illinois employee rights attorney. Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer probate fees independent contractor gift taxes whistleblower protections murder charges Transfer on Death Instrument Des Plaines drug lawyer ACA real estate surgical mistakes Illinois workers compensation attorney license suspension CAM Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Self-Directed IRA Accounts involuntary manslaughter Barrington employment law firm revenge porn wrongful death unauthorized overtime Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer pay when paid contract Illinois business lawyer civil litigation attorney Schaumburg injury lawyer natural gas Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Palatine estate planning lawyer trusts drunk driving Illinois employment law Illinois personal injury lawyers Long Grove estate planning Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois small business PTSD child safety probate lawyer personal injury lawyer Retaliatory Discharge Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents jet ski pedestrian accidents Attorney Ken Apicella income distribution deducation Palatine drug lawyer digital assets first degree murder Deer Park real estate law firm employment lawyer Crystal Lake tax lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Illinois estate planning law firm insurance denials Barrington estate planning lawyer life insurance claims Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm bicycle accidents truck collisions fatal car accidents Chicago insurance law firm dog bites Des Plaines real estate lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys fault based insurance Chicago biking tips controlled substance Chicago estate planning Illinois medical malpractice attorney appealing an insurance claim Chicago estate planning lawyer icy parking lots marijuana crimes attorney distracted driving accidents Illinois speeding lawyer Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Deer Park personal injury lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer Whistleblower Claims Arlington Heights trucking lawyer insurance claims Inverness elder law lawyer construction contracts modern family estate planning Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission special needs trust Illinois driving without license DNR Crystal Lake traffic lawyer digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Crystal Lake injury attorney Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Inverness traffic law firm Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer insurance claim dispute Illinois LLC creation traffic deaths in terrorem provision GM ignition switches Illinois personal injury Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Affordable Care Act rest breaks insurance claim delay insurance agents Buffalo Grove employment lawyer DUI attorney employees subcontractor Inverness DUI lawyer insurance claim no contest clauses spinal cord injury School Visitation Rights Act Deer Park accident attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney texting and driving product liability Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Arlington Heights lawyer Palatine Attorney Barrington employment law attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws medical research Crystal Lake accident attorney TBI drunk driving statistics Super Mario Arlington Heights Attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Long Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer real estate contract rumble strips living trust benefits traumatic brain injury anesthesia errors Landlord Tenant Ordinance Illinois personal injury attorney Arlington Heights real estate lawyer estate attorney real estate leasing Colin H. Gilbert insurance negligence Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Illinois job attorney head on collisions denial of life insurance Schaumburg estate planning attorney DUI defense South Barrington real estate lawyer workers compensation institutional trustee Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Kenilworth estate planning attorneys criminal defense Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Schaumburg employment attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer severance agreements probate claims process Schaumburg criminal law attorney Illinois insurance claims lawyers insurance claim denial POA Illinois DUI attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer comparative negligence Mt Prospect Attorney forming a corporation in Illinois Do Not Resuscitate Illinois employment law attorneys comp time Illinois insurance dispute lawyers internet commercial real estate car accident lawyer IRS taxes digital evidence slip and fall accidents Des Plaines insurance attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer premises liability Chicago traffic lawyer life insurance lawyer Illinois real estate lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer residential real estate blood alcohol content jet ski accidents capital gains tax traffic violations Schaumburg Attorney insurance dispute attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney traffic violations defense Chicago employment lawyer car accident spinal cord injuries Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Chicago trucking accident attorney car collision Illinois employment law attorney homestead rights car accidents Inverness corporate attorney dealing with problem employees Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer drug crime products liability unpaid overtime Illinois rollover accident lawyers Arlington Heights insurance attorney Palatine criminal defense lawyer Home Remodeling Repair Act caretaker rights Barrington civil litigation attorney employee discrimination living trust vs will Buffalo Grove probate lawyer insurance denial appeals Illinois mortgages Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer consent to a search Arlington Heights criminal lawyer traffic crimes Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Schaumburg criminal attorney civil litigation Rolling Meadows Attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer changes to mortgage law Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Palatine construction attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney expungement Crystal Lake will lawyer small business Illinois corporate lawyer denied insurance claim Barrington business law firm Illinois medical malpractice case senior citizens natural gas explosion Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Illinois real estate trucking accidents Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Illinois living will advance healthcare directive Palatine insurance lawyer problem employees liability pizza emoji car crash Schaumburg Inverness insurance attorney DMV investment property distracted driving accident victims Illinois traffic attorneys Buffalo Grove law firm Barrington drug crime attorney financial advisors Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney social media after death deadly crashes Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Chicago will attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer hands free device Illinois elder law attorney job lawyers commercial leases Des Plaines personal injury attorney condo Fourth of July Deer Park traffic accident attorney personal injury accidents auto accidents medication errors Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Exclusions medical marijuana overtime violations Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Liquor Control Act employment attorney license trucking accident lawyers landlord tenant law Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument business litigation unpaid assessment Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers uninsured motorist condo association accidental death benefits criminal record real estate lawyer underfunded trust vacation home Family Medical Leave Act pain and suffering Illinois trucking safety Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Chicago employment attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys civil rights violation car crash injuries cell phone accidents foreclosure tax attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney motorcycle accident lawyer disability benefits Illinois employment lawyer employee rights personal injury attorney crossover accidents drug crimes Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois pet lawyer probate process insurance disputes Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Schaumburg traffic lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney Illinois estate planning blended families Employment Discrimination Law Rolling Meadows traffic law firm probate claims wrongful termination Deer Park traffic lawyer Inverness civil lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney Palatine trusts lawyer filing a medical malpractice claim wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Class A misdemeanor Arlington Heights accident attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, automated cars Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers ken apicella dram shop law Des Plaines criminal attorney construction accidents Chicago car accident lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Barrington Traffic Lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer murder defense llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association low-ball insurance settlement real estate zoning murder college kids Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney healthcare claims cell phone Schaumburg personal injury attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys sexual images Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney meal breaks Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines real estate attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney brain injury health insurance dispute breach of contract contracts hit and run accident Inverness personal injury attorney Palatine employment lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Chicago corporate attorney Crystal Lake law firm Schaumburg construction accident lawyer minimum wage IRA trust transfer DUI Thanksgiving speeding criminal federal regulations for LLCs deed transfer Barrington criminal lawyer Detainer Actions estate plan Illinois workers compensation lawyer Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois traffic attorney Illinois estate planning Palatine civil litigation lawyer underage DUI Palatine punch death rollover accidents Barrington estate planning attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys unfunded trust Inverness probate lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Colin Gilbert South Barrington real estate attorney marijuana Inverness real estate attorney Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Long Grove estate planning attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Deer Park criminal attorney foreclosed rental property insurance attorney manufacturing installment contracts pet bites reckless homicide Illinois insurance lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Palatine law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney privacy laws Illinois workplace lawyer Fair Labor Standards Act Des Plaines DUI attorney estate planning trusts pedestrian accident pregnant women Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois business law atorneys FMLA preventing accidents Palatine employment attorney drug possession fiduciary rule delay Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Des Plaines injury law firm rollover car crashes Illinois injury lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney trust payments Inverness injury lawyer personal injury claims workers comp Illinois Smoke Detector Act Arlington Heights employment attorney liens FSLA Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Illinois red light cameras pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality eluding a police officer new real estate form Palatine civil attorney owner responsibility medical malpractice claims IRA benefits DUI penalities employment law Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer compensatory time Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Barrington boating accident attorney Illinois attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Des Plaines claims law firm Legal Info Rolling Meadows Illinois registered agent traffic accidents criminal law Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Illinois law