The topic is “Contesting a will with a no contest clause”
Many people are concerned about contesting a will in Texas because they know that the will has a no contest clause. (Almost all wills have a no contest clause in them).
In this podcast, we will discuss what you need to know about contesting a will with that clause in it.
A no contest clause, referred to as an “in terrorum clause,” or “forfeiture clause,” was conceived to strike terror into potential beneficiaries to prevent them from contesting a will. Does it serve that purpose?
Texas courts and the Texas Legislature have a reluctance to enforcing no contest clause because they tend to attempt to close the court’s door whose purpose it is to fully litigate legal issues.
A bad person could obtain a will from someone who is mentally incompetent or obtain a will because of undue influence and the family would be afraid to bring those issues to a court for review.
The first thing to note is if a will cuts a beneficiary out completely, there is no reason for that beneficiary to be concerned about the no contest clause because he is already getting nothing. The no contest clause will have no effect on him.
For those who do receive a substantial amount under a will that they believe should be contested, the no contest clause is unenforceable if the contest was brought in good faith and with just cause.
So, the no contest clause should not be the major factor in deciding whether or not to contest a will.
I produce these Podcast to briefly discuss current topics about Texas inheritance issues. You can find more information about Texas inheritance issues on this website or on my blog above.
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