What is an “in terrorem” clause in a Will or Trust?

 In Estate Planning, Probate

Literally meaning “in fear”, an “in terrorem” clause acts as a sort of threat: if anyone challenges the legality of the Will or of any part of the Will, he/she will be disinherited. Though there are many potential reasons why a client would include such a clause (also referred to as a “no contest” clause), one common one is to promote family harmony and mitigate potential fighting resulting from a legal battle following the death of the testator.

However, Florida law does not allow for the enforcement of in terrorem or “penalty clauses”, as explicitly stated in Florida Statute §732.517. If you need representation in a Will challenge or in defending testamentary documents, the attorneys at Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. are here to help. Call now at (941) 906-1231 to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

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