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


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