Probate disputes can be trying matters for the people who are involved. When your family members opt to dispute an estate plan, it can mean that you will have to fight for what your deceased loved one wanted you to have.
While you might think that all estate disputes need to be hashed during a trial, this isn't the case. There are times when it is appropriate for the case to go through a trial; however, many estate disputes can be easily handled through mediation. One of the things that determines if this is a good idea is the already present family dynamic.
One thing that is important to remember in these cases is that the longer the case draws out, the more expensive it is going to be. Unfortunately, families who have constant battles before the issue with the probate matter are less likely to be able to work through the issues during mediation. They might require the court to step in and make a decision.
Mediation with probate matters works just like it does for all other areas of the law. Both sides of the case get together and try to negotiate a settlement for the matter. This isn't ideal in probate because it could mean that part of the estate plan isn't followed. It can mean that the rightful heirs walk away with less than what they should.
If you are facing someone fighting the will that your loved one left, you should consider the pros and cons of mediation so that you can determine if this is an option worth pursuing. If not, get ready for a court battle.
Source: FindLaw, "Mediating Probate Disputes or Herding Cats," accessed June 14, 2018