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


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