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


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