Probate mediation can be faster, cheaper and less stressful than court based proceedings
The loss of a family member, close friend or business partner is a traumatic and distressing experience. To then find that the deceased final wishes, on how they wished their estate to be divided, are being challenged in a probate dispute can appear heartless, divisive and insensitive.
The process for sharing possessions and property after a person’s death is known as probate. If a person dies leaving a will, the way in which their assets are allocated can be challenged, known as a ‘contentious’ probate dispute. Traditionally the dispute is settled in a court, but probate litigation can prove very expensive, its slow and the court ultimately decides how the deceased estate will be divided.
At arc we offer an alternative to the conventional method of resolving these disputes through the courts. We use the mediation process to bring people together, to support dialogue between those involved and to find common ground on how to move forward. In comparison to litigation, our service is fast, much less expensive, confidential and gives the beneficiaries a significant say in how the dispute is settled.
How mediation can help settle probate disputes
We have two objectives in probate mediation:
• To seek out a mutually agreeable settlement for all parties involved.
• To rebuild relationships between the people involved in the dispute, if they feel it would be important to continue their relationship.
The first step in the mediation process is for us to visit you at home, or somewhere you find comfortable and convenient, to explore the issues involved in the dispute in confidence. We will also talk to your legal representative about the details of the case. As a next step we will bring all the people involved together, encouraging everyone to explore the details of the dispute and how it can be settled. At the end of the meeting we will aim to find a mutually agreeable settlement that will, in turn, become legally binding.
However, even if an agreed solution cannot be found during the mediation meeting, many cases will settle in the days after the mediation, as everyone involved has had the benefits of a frank and open discussion, and some time to reflect.
Three examples of how mediation can resolve contested probate disputes: