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Is mediation a way to settle estate disputes?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2021 | Estate planning

During probate, various relatives and heirs learn about the testator’s decisions. Not everyone may appreciate being left out of a will or not receiving what he or she feels he or she deserves. In some cases, serious concerns about improprieties may guide decisions to challenge the will. Estate disputes could become time-consuming and costly, and Delaware residents may consider another option: mediation.

Opting for mediation over litigation

Estate disputes could involve matters related not only to a will, but also issues associated with a trust or guardianship decisions. With mediation, the potential litigants collaborate with a third-party mediator to try to come to an agreement. No guarantees exist about how things may resolve, but the emotional toll may be less. Angry disputes carried out in court could cause enormous stress and anxiety.

Mediation may resolve things quickly and amicably. A long court battle could destroy relationships, and a swift, agreeable mediation process may prevent such a terrible situation from occurring.

The potential value of mediation

Those engaged in estate planning may wish to figure out how to avoid possible conflicts. Unfortunately, things may happen outside the planner’s control. Hopefully, the parties involved in any potential disputes may take a prudent approach to settle things.

Litigation may be a more well-known approach to settling disputes, but the drawbacks aren’t necessarily equally understood. In many legal disputes, there are winners and losers. One party may receive a favorable judgment while the other does not. Relationships may end up destroyed when the court issues a ruling.

The parties find themselves limited by the court’s decisions and actions. With mediation, everyone could work towards an agreement that makes everyone happy. Such flexibility may not be the case when litigation leads to a particular decision. Mediation could lead to preferred decisions in a timely manner.