When it comes to probate disputes, they’re now synonymous with long and arduous court proceedings. Not only can the process take time, it can also be emotionally draining as years of concealed feelings finally make themselves known. Can we avoid this torture for all parties? According to some experts, destructive litigation may be avoidable with the introduction of mediation services.
For those unaware, mediation is designed to find a mutual agreement between two parties. Of course, some probate disputes will still need a court case. Yet, mediation could find a use in inheritance disputes or in assessing the validity of a will. Perhaps even with the construction or execution of a will, something you wouldn’t necessarily consider suited to mediation, settlements could be reached thanks to the interactive nature of the services.
In some evidence-heavy cases, the following court proceedings can take significant amounts of time; in law, time is money. Furthermore, some issues that arise during such cases can’t necessarily be judged by a court of law. With mediation, both parties have an opportunity to sit down with their representatives and each other to find a middle ground. As well as being a faster process, it often doesn’t cause irreparable damage and some relationships can be salvaged during this difficult time.
In truth, any legally and factually complex case could be resolved with mediation. This includes;
Disagreements between executors
The validity of a will
Claims made under the Inheritance Act
Benefits of Mediation
In our experience, on a fundamental level, court cases lead to an ‘us versus them’ mindset. Suddenly, this superiority complex is removed with mediation since all parties have a chance to talk and there’s fairness for all at the table.
Additionally, a court case looks at the facts and the facts alone (regardless of what this does to the relationship of those involved). With mediation, it’s more of a personal service where a middle ground can be met as opposed to who is right and who is wrong.
By introducing mediation in this area of law, it would allow both parties to choose a flexible, more affordable, and confidential solution. When a dispute contains numerous parties, litigation can be costly and time-consuming; this isn’t beneficial for anybody because it keeps tensions running high for a prolonged period. On the other hand, mediation will aim to gather everybody in one location at a specific time to build a settlement.
Why is mediation flexible? Because parties are able to choose a mediator that fits their budget and dispute. For many, the confidential nature of mediation is also important.
Mediation can resolve disputes
All things considered, there will be scenarios where mediation doesn’t provide a good solution. However, it can help probate disputes and it has potential when assessing the validity of a will or when settling a dispute between two executors. With confidentiality and flexibility as two examples, mediation offers a number of benefits that can’t be matched by litigation. With this in mind, we actually believe this solution to be a reflection of the modern world.
Over the years, mediation has garnered a brilliant reputation in other areas of law, and we expect this to continue with probate disputes. If it’s applied to more disputes in the coming months and years, we could see more cases resolved in an amicable way…and in a way that doesn’t damage relationships beyond repair!
If you are considering mediation, then contact Chris Barber to discuss your options.