Klenk Law

Understanding the No Contest Clause in Wills

Information from a Will Contest Law Firm Bucks County, PA Locals Recommend

Some wills contain a clause known in legal terms as “in terrorem” or “no contest” in layman’s terms. Many people are not familiar with this clause and how it can affect their or another person’s inheritance. There are also questions about the enforceability of this clause. If you have questions or concerns about a no contest clause in a will, talk to us at Klenk Law We are a will contest law firm with a team of experienced lawyers who have helped many of our fellow community members in Bucks County. A will contest lawyer from our will contest law firm in Bucks County, PA can meet with you at no charge for a brief consultation that may offer you the guidance you need to make informed decisions about how to move forward.

The “In Terrorem” (No Contest) Clause

When a will contains this clause, and a beneficiary violates the intention of the provision, the recipient may be subject to losing all or a portion of the inheritance that was specified in the will.

Can This Clause Be Enforced?

The answer to that question varies by state and the circumstances of each situation. A will contest lawyer from Klenk Law can review your case and determine if the In Terrorem clause can or will likely be enforced. In Pennsylvania, the court will consider the argument against the will.  And, if the judge concludes that the case is valid and justified, she may not enforce the no contest clause. It’s important to note that merely asking about the In Terrorem clause does not put the person in jeopardy.

Contest Arguments That Do Not Work

Again, this will vary and can be clarified by an experienced will contest lawyer. However, there are some arguments that will generally not be accepted as valid. An example is an argument that voices suspicions without proof that the deceased was forced to write the will as they did, rather than of their wishes. Without documented proof provided by the person contesting the will, their argument will likely fail, and this may trigger the In Terrorem clause. As a result, the court may choose to enforce it.  Therefore, ifthe court does enforce the clause, the challenger may receive nothing.

Klenk Law: We Provide Legal Guidance and Confidence

Every case is different because the circumstances and variables differ. Is someone challenging a will? If so, we can help guide you to enforce your rights.  Are you writing your own will, and worry about a will contest?  If so, we can help guide you to help prevent the will contest.

Will Contests Is What We Do!

At Klenk Law, our legal team of trusted will contest lawyers has helped many people who were challenged with estate issues and estate planning. Call us today and make an appointment for a complimentary case review with one of our trusted will contest lawyers.

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