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No-contest clauses in wills are very important

There are many different things to think about when reviewing a will. One of these is that there might be a no-contest clause in the will. This is actually something that serves a very important purpose, but people who aren't happy with the contents of the will might be enraged by the inclusion of this clause.

The no-contest clause is meant to discourage heirs from trying to challenge a will. Oftentimes, people include this clause in the will when they have a reason to believe that someone in the will isn't going to like the terms of the will. This is often the result of someone getting a lesser share of the estate than what they think they are entitled to receive.

Unlike the name of the clause implies, it doesn't actually prevent someone from contesting the will. Instead, it sets up a penalty if an unsuccessful challenge to the will is launched. Typically, this means that the person who challenges the will loses anything he or she was entitled to if the challenge isn't found to be valid.

There are some instances in which the no-contest clause might be found to be invalid. This is only possible if there are omissions to the will or if there are very specific points that are met. It is usually best to have the situation evaluated to determine what is possible. If the no-contest clause is found to be valid, you should think very carefully about what you are going to do. The fate of your inheritance depends on the decisions you make regarding your options.

Source: ThinkAdvisor, "Protecting a no-contest clause: What you need to know," accessed Jan. 03, 2018

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