Estates and trusts in Delaware are complex legal and financial instruments for managing the assets of a deceased person, and when there is a dispute, it can take a long time to resolve. That time means more cost and risk, so mediation is often a faster and cheaper way to resolve disputes.
Estate and trust mediation
The disposition of assets from an estate or a trust is governed by the will and other documents. Usually, there is no dispute, and the estate or trust proceeds according to the documentation, but in rare instances, one or more potential heirs might dispute the will. That triggers a legal procedure to resolve the dispute. The parties involved have to hire lawyers to represent them in court, file motions, go over the documents, and make their case. All of this is costly and racks up a lot of billable hours, which cuts into the value of the estate and is stressful for all parties involved.
A less expensive and often faster approach is to use mediation, which can let the parties talk through their positions without having to make court appearances, reducing the cost. It is also a way to lay the groundwork for a resolution. While it still has to go through court to be finalized, an agreement to fix the dispute can be reached faster with mediation than in court alone. These disputes are always emotionally draining as well, so a faster resolution can mitigate stress.
People often overlook the power of mediation in estate disputes, but it has a lot of advantages over trying to use the court system alone to dispute a will, trust, or estate.