What is a no-contest clause?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Will Contests

It is not uncommon to have concerns regarding what will happen with your estate after death. Particularly if you believe that your heirs may challenge any will that you put forth, you may be looking for ways to prevent this. 

The most common way to prevent any challenges to your will after your death is to add a no-contest clause. According to Findlaw, the idea behind a no-contest clause is that if an heir tries to contest the will and loses the contest, then that heir will get nothing. 
Is a no-contest clause a good idea? 
Like with most things governing estates: sometimes. Particularly if you are positive that your estate plan will anger one of your heirs, adding a no-contest clause may be of good use. However, if you want the no-contest clause to remain in effect, you do need to leave all heirs something of value. 
The courts frequently discard no-contest clauses because they disadvantage some heirs. Essentially, if the court believes that the no-contest clause unfairly disadvantages somebody, it will be non-enforceable. 
Are there any other exceptions? 
The validity of no-contest clauses vary depending upon what state you are in. If you end up creating your estate plan in Texas and move to either Florida or Indiana afterward, the no-contest clause will not be valid. This is because no contest clauses are not enforceable in either Florida or Indiana. 
Make sure that there are no mistakes in your will if you choose to add a no-contest clause. This is because if there is a genuine mistake and your heirs try to rectify it, they risk disinheriting themselves.