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Courts Look to Mediation in Family Estate Fights

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Disagreeing couple

Mediation can reduce hard feelings between family members and may prevent a permanent rift.

A common way to prevent the chances of a permanent rift in a family over an estate disagreement, is for the court to send the parties involved to mediation, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "Court Rejects Effort to Avoid Settlement Agreement."

When family members start fighting there is almost no way for there to be a civil intra-family estate dispute, unless the case goes to trial before a judge.

When family members start testifying against each other, it is extremely difficult for the wounds to heal. To avoid this problem, many courts prefer that families try to solve their disputes through other methods before a case goes to trial.

In mediation a trained, neutral third party attempts to facilitate an agreement between the parties to the dispute. A mediator will often try to get the parties to see the other person's side and to compromise.

Even when mediation does not instantly help the parties to reach an agreement, it often helps to clarify the issues. Many feuding family members do decide to reach post-mediation settlements.

Mediation does not always work. Some people feel that they are pressured into settling during mediation.

If estate litigation does it occur, it is wise to seek legal representation.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Oct. 25, 2017) "Court Rejects Effort to Avoid Settlement Agreement."

About the Author

Nina Whitehurst

Attorney at Law Nina has been practicing law for over 30 years in the areas of estate planning, real estate and business law She is currently licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Tennessee. Her Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating is the highest achievable: 5 stars in peer...

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