Can I Challenge a Will or Trust with No Contest Clause?

No Contest Clause (noun):

A clause in a legal document, such as a contract or a will, that is designed to threaten someone. The threatening can involve litigation, criminal prosecution or with disinheritance, into acting, refraining from action, or ceasing to act.

Probate (noun):

The process of proving in court that the will of a person who has died is valid.You must prove that the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine to a competent judicial authority.Not all wills must go through this in California. See our infographic to help you determine if your loved one’s estate must go through probate.

Can I Challenge a Will or Trust with no Contest Clause?

Many people who correctly recognize that their parents’ wishes were subverted by someone else get scared off from pursuing their case in probate court because of the no contest clause in the will or trust.The existence of a no contest clause in a will or trust contest is usually meaningless. Keep in mind that it might not matter if there is a no contest clause. This could be the case if the will/trust gives everything to the person who took advantage of your parent. This is because you are not going to inherit anything anyway under the existing will or trust. You have to file a will contest, trust contest, or both if you are going to inherit. If you win then the no contest clause is set aside along with the will or trust.

Well, what if the person who took advantage had the will or trust leave you some substantial amount of property? Then in that case, there is a bit of an analysis to be done. If you lose your will contest or trust contest then you will be disinherited and you won’t receive the property left to you under the will or trust that was challenged. But if you are successful, on the other hand, you will get your inheritance because the will or trust and its no contest clause has been set aside.

 
Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman

Attorney

The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307
 

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