What is a No Contest Clause?Published On: Monday, March 12, 2018
As our society ages and more assets than ever transition through probate, it is inevitable that there will also be an increase in the volume of estate litigation. Often estate planners attempt to avoid future litigation by including no contest clauses in wills and trusts. These clauses originated as simply directing that no beneficiary may directly contest the language of the will or trust. In its most common form a no contest clause threatens to disinherit a beneficiary if he or she contests the will.
Estate planning attorneys have started drafting broader no contest clauses that attempt to control additional conduct such as claims for breach of fiduciary duty or any other acts that may impede the administration of the will or trust.
It is likely that a fair amount of litigation will arise to flesh out the viability of these broader restrictions, especially if they appear to violate public policy or the Uniform Trust Code. New case law may be drafted and passed to clear up the perimeters of what conduct may or may not be included in no contest clauses.
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