When a loved one passes away, the property and assets left behind are distributed per the directions in the will or living trust. If the instructions were listed in the former or if no such document exists, the estate may be subject to probate court. This type of court oversees the appointment of administrators as well as the eventual distribution of the estate, and litigation can land you in court, too. Probate mediation offers an alternative that may be beneficial to you and your family.
Heal old wounds at the root of discord
The death of a loved one will naturally ignite heightened emotions, and anger is not uncommon. This is especially true when the potential for disagreement exists as it does in negotiating an estate. Mediation gives all family members the opportunity to talk openly without initiating litigation, and this can help all parties overcome the emotions that may be causing the contention.
Find a more affordable option for all parties
According to BankRate, mediation is an effective means of saving money on the costs typically associated with legal disputes. Paying for attorneys and legal fees throughout the duration of litigation will quickly add up to a lengthy bill for all parties involved. Attending mediation and negotiating the issues involving the estate can help you avoid this and the acrimony that often accompanies litigation.
Maintain your family's privacy
When an estate enters probate court, the hearing may be open to the public, and all proceedings are typically made available through public record. The negotiation of an estate is a considerably private matter, so you may be invested in shielding its details from prying eyes. Because mediation is private, it can help you avoid the privacy concerns that often accompany going to probate court.
Reach a mutually agreeable solution
Perhaps the greatest benefit of probate mediation is its ability to grant all parties a favorable outcome. Indeed, much contention can accompany litigation proceedings, but mediation provides an opportunity to negotiate and find a solution that best meets all parties' needs. This can help you maintain important relationships and avoid an unnecessarily drawn out court case.
Probate court provides necessary services for disputes involving estates, but if litigation can be avoided, it is often ideal to do so. Contacting an experienced attorney to learn more about mediation may be the right choice for your family's needs.