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Are no-contest clauses enforceable in Illinois?

While it might be easy for many in Mokena to dismiss those who contest the estate decisions of their loved ones as simply being petty or motivated by greed, it should be remembered that a good deal of emotion goes into the disbursement of an estate. When you lose someone close to you, your grief can easily be compounded if it appears that his or her true wishes are not expressed in his or her will. That may lead to questions as to whether or not another beneficiary (likely also someone you share a relationship with) might have attempted to exploit your family member or friend for financial gain. If such doubt does exist, can you be blamed for wanting to contest the will

Sometimes those looking to avoid disputes amongst their beneficiaries will include no-contest clauses in their wills. Such an amendment basically says that if you attempt to contest the validity of the will, you risk being disinherited. The obvious thought is that the fear of losing whatever interest that you do have in an estate will keep you from questioning a will. Yet are such clauses truly enforceable?

Illinois law is recognized as being vague when it comes to the validity of no-contest clauses. However, according to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the state does enforce them in most situations. Recent case precedent has shown that courts will only allow contests in these situations if they are deemed to have good cause. Thus, if you believe that you have evidence showing that your loved one may have unduly influenced by another when making his or her will, or that he or she lacked the mental capacity to make informed estate decisions, you may be allowed to circumvent a no-contest clause. 

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Zapolis & Associates, P.C.
9991 191st Street
Mokena, IL 60448

Phone: 708-390-8936
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