Is a “no contest” clause to a will valid?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2021 | Will and Trust Contests

Residents of Newport Beach and other areas of California may want to learn more about the “no contest” clause that can be attached to a person’s last will and testament. Its purpose is to provide for the disinheritance of an heir if they dispute the contents of the will.

However, this clause may be may be void with a challenge. According to the National Law Review, if this happens and parties reach an agreement, the no-contest clause would no longer be valid.

Challenge to the no-contest clause is similar to the challenge to the will

Discussion will center on the mental capacity of the decedent to create a will. Sometimes, heirs argue that someone else had undue influence over the decedent. These two reasons are the primary ones given when will and trust contests are in progress.

A beneficiary may seek to challenge a no-contest clause, but that heir must consider whether the challenge will result in a better position for them. The difference between what an heir is currently receiving under the disputed last will and testament as compared to what they would receive if the document is no longer valid will play a major role in determining if they should contest it. If the difference is very small, it may not be worth the effort to challenge the no-contest clause.

No-contest clause comes into play after the disinheriting of an heir

This clause is usually brought about at the conclusion of litigation. It is through a motion by the executor of the estate. If, on the other hand, the challenge to the will has been successful, both the will and no-contest clause would be void, especially if the parties settle without trial.

If you or a loved one is considering a challenge to a will or trust, it may be beneficial to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in estate and probate law. They may help guide you through the process to avoid common pitfalls.