Is it possible to mediate probate?

In today’s society it seems that long and demanding court proceedings are a part of any probate dispute. Emotions run high and concealed feelings and years of frustration are let loose in the wake of tragedy. In a bid to avoid destructive and divisive litigation, experts are now suggesting that traditional court proceedings should be replaced with mediation services. The role of mediation is to help disputing parties resolve conflict and reach a mutual agreement.

Whilst some probate disputes aren’t suited to mediation, disputes regarding the validity of a will or disputes about inheritance can be easily resolved through mediation services. Even disputes that are not necessarily suited to mediation, such as the construction or proper execution of a will can benefit from such interactive services and settlements can be reached.

Disputes that can be resolved through mediation include legally and factually complex cases such as the validity of a will, claims made under the Inheritance Act or disagreements between two executors. Not only do these evidence-heavy cases result in a lengthier process and higher costs, but the court may not be suited to judge on such issues that arise. Replacing the traditional court proceedings with mediation will allow parties involved to explore and resolve matters within a shorter timescale at a reduced cost and begin to salvage relationships.

Throughout litigation, many parties feel under pressure and there can often be a superiority complex developed within the court through opposing sides. Mediation strips this element away through demonstrating inclusivity and fairness as everyone sits around a table. Furthermore, mediation is a personal service that offers encouragement and management in order to achieve results. Neither the court nor the judge can provide a service that works on the rehabilitation of relationships, instead the traditional process focuses solely on who is right versus who is wrong in the eyes of the law.

Some of the benefits of using mediation in probate disputes include cost-effectiveness, flexibility and confidentiality. Disputes involving a large number of parties can become very costly. Unlike litigation, mediation gathers all parties involved at a specific location at a specific time in order to identify opinions and build a settlement – this means that the cost and time involved with corresponding with each party is no longer a factor within the probate process. The ability to be able to choose a mediator that is both best suited to certain disputes and suited to your budget makes mediation far more flexible than traditional court proceedings. Mediation is also confidential, meaning your case cannot be prejudiced by attending the service.

Overall, mediation is particularly well suited to certain probate disputes especially those regarding disagreements between two executors or the validity of a will. Mediation offers certain benefits that traditional court proceedings and litigation cannot such as flexibility and rehabilitation and as a result mediation services are more reflective of modern society. The overall success rate of mediation and the increasing number of success stories regarding mediation and its role within probate disputes suggest that this service will only continue to prosper in years to come.

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