Probate and Inheritance13/01/2017
Resolving probate and inheritance disputes using mediation offers an effective and cost efficient alternative to traditional court based solutions. Probate disputes generally involve people who were close to the deceased – family members, friends and business partners – at a time when they are dealing with the grief and distress of losing someone important in their lives. At such a difficult time the last thing people generally want is a very public, drawn out and expensive court case. But this is where the majority of contested probate cases are settled.
Mediation can offer an alternative route to resolving probate disputes confidentially, less expensively and with the minimum of delay.
Resolving a probate dispute through legal system generally leads to win or lose outcomes, with the responsibility to make a decision being placed on a judge. Mediation offers the possibility of an outcome determined by the people involved, to suit their unique circumstances and outcomes can be made legally binding. But mediation can go further. By carefully exploring the background to the dispute and openly discussing challenging issues, the people involved can often find a way to re-establish trust and rebuild relationships.
Mediation is suitable for many types of probate disputes, involving complex inheritance issues and an decisions made by executors during the administration of an estate. However, mediation is unsuitable for judging the validity of a will, which can only be determined by a court.
Acknowledging the value of mediation, the courts will expect probate mediation to have been considered before legal proceedings are commenced. In addition, they are often prepared to suspend the legal process, once commenced, to give mediation an opportunity to resolve a probate dispute. Mediation is always conducted ‘without prejudice’, so nothing disclosed during a mediation meeting can be used in court, allowing legal proceedings to be commenced (or re-instated) if the people involved are unsuccessful in finding a mediated solution.
Essex Mediation combines its extensive experience in resolving commercial and family disputes, to provide a comprehensive and professional solution to probate disputes. We work closely with all parties involved to understand the complexity of the dispute, to determine each individual’s needs and to work towards a mutually acceptable solution.
To find out how we can help you, please call 01245 492200 or click here to get in touch now.