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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mediation of Wills, Trusts, and other Estate Issues

While mediation of divorce has become commonplace, many do not realize the benefits of mediating disputes regarding wills, trusts, and other estate issues. Like divorce, disputes over estates can be emotionally charged because people feel hurt by family members. After all, a once close and loving family is dealing with the loss of a loved one, along with disappointment and even anger regarding the distribution of assets. An inheritance is the last contact one has with the deceased, so clinging to that can be a way of holding onto the person.

Families are complicated. There could include siblings, stepchildren, stepparents, in-laws, and spouses of the above with different ideas of what is fair or what the decedent intended. More people can mean more opinions. There can be confusion, misunderstanding, and miscommunication, all of which can prolong or obstruct a resolution. Mediation is conducted using an agreed upon agenda, so issues are prioritized, and everyone’s concerns are addressed. In other words, everyone is heard and treated with respect.

Mediation of an estate dispute empowers the family to craft a resolution with which everyone can live. The family might even heal, having had the opportunity to express their concerns in a safe and private setting. Mediation is also most often a more expeditious and less costly alternative to litigation.

At LaFortune and LaFortune, we are available for evening appointments which makes it easier for mediation cases to be scheduled when all interested parties can come.





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