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(a) For the purposes of this section, “no-contest provision” includes a “no-contest provision,” “in terrorem provision” or “forfeiture provision” of a trust instrument. A “no-contest provision” means a provision that, if given effect, would reduce or eliminate the interest of any beneficiary of such trust who, directly or indirectly, initiates or otherwise pursues:
(1) Any action to contest the validity of the trust or the terms of the trust;
(2) Any action to set aside or vary the terms of the trust;
(3) Any action to challenge the acts of the trustee or other fiduciary of the trust in the performance of the trustee's or other fiduciary's duties as described in the terms of the trust; or
(4) Any other act or proceedings to frustrate or defeat the settlor's intent as expressed in the terms of the trust.
(b) Regardless of whether or not the beneficiary sought, received or relied upon legal counsel, a no-contest provision shall be enforceable according to the express terms of the no-contest provision without regard to the beneficiary's good or bad faith in taking the action that would justify the complete or partial forfeiture of the beneficiary's interest in the trust under the terms of the no-contest provision unless probable cause exists for the beneficiary taking such action on the grounds of:
(4) Lack of testamentary capacity;
(5) Undue influence;
(7) Forgery; or
(8) Irregularity in the execution of the trust instrument.
(c) Subsection (b) shall not apply to:
(1) Any action brought solely to challenge the acts of the trustee or other fiduciary of the trust to the extent that the trustee or other fiduciary has committed a breach of fiduciary duties or breach of trust;
(2) Any action brought by the trustee or any other fiduciary serving under the terms of the trust, unless the trustee or other fiduciary is a beneficiary against whom the no-contest provision is otherwise enforceable;
(3) Any agreement among the beneficiaries and any other interested persons in settlement of a dispute or resolution of any other matter relating to the trust, including without limitation any nonjudicial settlement agreement;
(4) Any action to determine whether a proposed or pending motion, petition, or other proceeding constitutes a contest within the meaning of a no-contest provision;
(5) Any action brought by a beneficiary or on behalf of any such beneficiary for a construction or interpretation of the terms of the trust; or
(6) Any action brought by the attorney general and reporter for a construction or interpretation of a charitable trust or a trust containing a charitable interest if a provision exists in a trust purporting to penalize a charity or charitable interest for contesting the trust if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings.
(d) Pursuant to this section, courts shall enforce the settlor's intent as reflected in a no-contest provision to the greatest extent possible.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Tennessee Code Title 35. Fiduciaries and Trust Estates § 35-15-1014 - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-35-fiduciaries-and-trust-estates/tn-code-sect-35-15-1014.html
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