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


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