The omnipresent no-contest clause (originally called in terrorum clauses–as in to terrify one’s beneficiaries) is meant to prevent lawsuits. The idea being that if a beneficiary contests a California Will or Trust containing the clause, then that beneficiary is entirely disinherited and loses his gift under the document (see our previous blog post on how

No contest clauses were originally referred to as “In Terrorem” clauses. In Terrorem is Latin for “To Scare the Pants off my Beneficiaries”—loosely translated. And that’s what a no contest clause is supposed to do, prevent a trust or will contest by disinheriting a beneficiary who dares to contest the terms of the instrument.