What Is A No Contest Clause?

  • Estate Planning
what is a no contest clause | estate and probate legal group

When preparing your will, you need to confirm all listed assets and decide how you want them distributed. A no contest clause is designed to keep beneficiaries from challenging the terms of the will. 

What is a No Contest Clause?

If a beneficiary of your will or trust feels that you unevenly distributed assets, they may contest your will. If they challenge the will and lose, they lose everything that would be left for them… that beneficiary will receive nothing. 

You may want to write in a no contest clause to discourage anyone from contesting your will. You and your estate planning attorney need to ensure that you have left enough to each beneficiary that they don’t want to challenge the will. 

Benefits of a No Contest Clause

Not challenging the terms of your will can benefit your loved ones in several ways.

  • Hopefully, it will keep your family from fighting since your will clearly state who gets what.
  • It could lessen the likelihood of years of litigation. Bring the courts into this will cause everyone time and money and even the loss of value of your estate.
  • It may keep the details of your life and estate private. If someone contests your will in court, it might become available to the public.

Even with this clause written in, a beneficiary will challenge the terms of your will, and they may win.

Enforcing a No Contest Clause

Despite the no contest clause, there is always wiggle room for someone to challenge the terms of your will – and win. A probable cause exemption means that the courts find that the beneficiary had probable cause to make the challenge and can rule against your wishes.

Working With Estate and Probate Legal Group

Writing your will is a complex and personal process. This is why you should seek the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. The no contest clause must be error-free and ensure nothing is left out. 

Your attorney can offer you suggestions and tactics to deal with potential problems concerning your will or trust and the beneficiaries.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

If you have questions about writing your will or a no contest clause, an experienced estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified estate planning attorney in Chicago or Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.