Limitations of In Terrorem Clauses

When individuals draft a will, they may have serious concerns about the disagreeability of their beneficiaries. For instance, according to Texas law, a certain portion of the will must go to surviving family members. However, if these family members do not agree with their allotted portion, they might challenge the will for a greater stake of inheritance. To keep these individuals from contesting the will, a testator may add what is known as an in terrorem or no-contest clause.

To learn more about how an estate planner can help you set up the future of your estate, contact the Houston wills and trusts lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., at 281-362-2865 today.

The In Terrorem Clause in Texas

As each state holds its own laws regarding wills and trusts, Texas controls its own definition of a no-contest clause. While these can be extremely useful for testators to more carefully determine how their will can be interpreted, the state limits how widely this clause applies. The following hold true for in terrorem clauses in Texas:

  • An in terrorem clause may cut beneficiaries out of a will if challenged
  • An in terrorem clause is useless if the validity of the will is challenged
  • Challenges deemed to be made in good faith are exempt from in terrorem restrictions

According to Texas law, there is no single way to completely defend a will from challenges. However, these no-contest clauses can help testators have a degree of control over their testaments.

Contact Us

There are a wide range of options available for those considering the future of their estate. To learn more about what your estate options may include, contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865 today.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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