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


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