Should any beneficiary contest or initiate legal proceedings to contest the validity of this Will or any provision from being carried out in accordance with its terms (whether or not in good faith and with probable cause), then all benefits provided for such contesting beneficiary, and any such beneficiary's descendants, in this Will are revoked and annulled.Norman v. Gober, Appeal Case No. S12A1728 (Ga., January 7, 2013).
In Norman, supra, the court considered facts in which a person had previously challenged a will on behalf of a minor who was not an heir at law. The petitioner had lost the first challenge due to a lack of standing, which is the legal interest necessary to bring a lawsuit. In the second proceeding, the executors retaliated by enforcing the in terrorem clause to seek a determination that the petitioner could not take under the will.
In the opinion in Norman, supra, the court upheld the maintenance of the executor's petition to enforce the in terrorem clause. The court held that the fact that the first suit had been rejected due to a lack of standing did not matter. That suit was still a losing, "initiat[ion] of legal proceedings" under the language of the in terrorem clause.
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