A Boutique Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Old English In Terrorem (No Contest) Provisions Brought the Wrath of God into Wills

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

“In Terrorem” provisions, also called “no contest” provisions, are included in Wills to prevent legatees who are unhappy with their share of an estate from challenging a Will. In Terrorem provisions do this by stating that if the legatee challenges the Will without cause, he or she receives nothing.

The following In Terrorem provision was used in the Will of Wolgith in 1046. Today, In Terrorem clauses do not include language invoking eternal damnation:

He that bereaves my will, which by God’s permission I have now made, let him be bereaved of these earthly joys; and may the Almighty Lord — cut him off from all holy men’s communion in Doomsday; and be he delivered to Satan, the Devil and all his cursed companions to hell’s bottom, and there be tortured, with those whom God has cast off or forsaken, without intermission, and never trouble my heirs.

And in the original Old English:

beryaui þe hic nu biqueþen habbe. a Godes ywitnesse; beryaued he worþe þises erthliche mergþes and ashiregi hine se almigti drigten. þe alle shepþe yshop. and ywrogte. vram alre halegene ymennesse. on domesday. and sy he bytagt Satane þane diefle. and alle his awargede yueren into helle grunde. and þer aquelmi mid Godes wiþsaken bute ysuyke and mine irfnumen neuer ne asuenche þisses is to ywitnesse Edward king and manie oþre.


For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Frankel Sims


Contact: Frank Campbell


Sims & Campbell Estates and Trusts

Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell
Merge to Form Sims & Campbell

Firm will offer comprehensive Trusts & Estates services through offices in Towson and Annapolis

TOWSON, Md. (April 26,2019)  Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell have jointly announced the merger of their firms to create a boutique Trusts & Estates law firm providing comprehensive services in the fields of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. The combined firm will be named Sims & Campbell and have offices in Towson, Md. and Annapolis, Md.  Jane Frankel Sims and Frank Campbell will lead and hold equal ownership stakes in the firm.

Sims & Campbell will have 9 attorneys and 15 legal professionals that handle every facet of estate and wealth transfer planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, estate and gift tax advice, and charitable giving strategies.  The firm will focus solely on Trusts & Estates but will serve a wide range of clients, from young families with modest resources to ultra-high net worth individuals.  This allows clients to remain with the firm as their level of wealth and the complexity of related estate and tax implications change over time. 

“By joining forces, we have expanded our footprint to conveniently serve clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia” said Jane Frankel Sims.  We are seeing some of the greatest wealth transfer in our country’s history, and we want to continue to be on the leading edge of helping our clients maintain and enhance their family’s wealth.  In addition, we aim to serve our clients for years to come, and the new firm structure will allow Sims & Campbell to thrive even after Frank and I have retired.”    

“Jane and I have always admired each other’s firms and recognized the need to provide even greater depth and breadth of focused expertise to help families amass and protect their wealth from generation to generation,” said Frank Campbell.  “Now we have even greater capabilities to make a real difference for our clients.” 

The Sims & Campbell Towson office is located at 500 York Road, on the corner of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Towson.  The Annapolis office is currently located at 716 Melvin Avenue, and is moving to 181 Truman Parkway in August, 2019.  For more information, visit www.simscampbell.law.