Trial lawyers beware of the in terrorem trust clause: A nasty trap that can keep on springing.


An “in terrorem” or “no-contest” clause in a trust instrument provides for the forfeiture or reduction of the equitable property interest of a beneficiary who contests the arrangement. In a recent New Hampshire case, Shelton, Tamposi v. Tamposi, Jr. & Tamposi (2010) [Hillsborough Probate], the Court at the conclusion of the litigation enforced such a clause as of the date the action had been brought with devastating consequences for the plaintiff. Here is the link to the decision:

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Charles E. Rounds, Jr.
Suffolk University Law School

Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School. Tenure granted: 1990. Author: Loring and... View Profile »

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