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What is estate mediation?

When someone dies, they typically leave their estate to their loved ones. Occasionally, disputes arise regarding the estate among those who are left behind. In these circumstances, estate disputes can become complicated and stressful. Estate mediation is one way to work through issues and resolve differences.

When a person takes the time to complete an estate plan, they leave their heirs a tremendous gift. Having an estate plan that covers all questions is of tremendous value. But, often, a person doesn't leave an estate plan, or their estate plan is open for interpretation. In these cases, the heirs may have disagreements. Solving these disagreements can be complicated and emotional, often resulting in hurt feelings and alienation among family members.

When a family just doesn't agree on the deceased's estate plan, estate mediation may be an option. Mediators are neutral parties and work for the common good of everyone who is involved, not just one party. They can work for the entire family, while delicately maintaining the balance of the family member's roles and different positions. They will meet with everyone involved in the estate dispute, both together and separately, to make sure they understand what everyone's concerns are. Mediation is flexible and can adapt to many different situations. Mediation often helps the family communicate their concerns and helps resolve disputes in a more cost-effective and timely way.

If a family is facing an estate dispute, they may want to speak with a legal professional who specializes in estate valuations. An attorney can recognize what the estate issues are and can advise their client on what the solutions may be.

Source: FindLaw, "Mediation," accessed on Nov. 5, 2017

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Mason & Helmers
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