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


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