Dispute involving probate, estates and trusts frequently are characterized by sincere and deep emotional issues. The loss of a family member can open underlying wounds, whether logical or simply perceived (and perceived can be very real). The approach in these cases must be particularly tailored to the participants. As in many employment cases, it is very important to allow individuals to participate fully but care must be exercised to avoid personal attacks and other counterproductive statements in any joint session. Caucuses are often crucial to deal with emotional issues and surface underlying critical concerns.
These points demonstrate how extremely valuable mediation can be in resolving issues in this area. The setting is less stressful than the formalities of a courtroom. Perhaps the most important benefit is the ability to work out solutions that will meet many of the needs, if not the desires, of each of the participants. Distribution of items such as jewelry or heirlooms invite skillful negotiation.
If a business or operating assets are involved, a mediator with business or commercial experience in this area can be invaluable (see Business, Banking and Commercial Mediation).
Jim Mayer is an experienced mediator who can help resolve your disputes involving probate, estates and trusts issues. Call Jim at (858) 551-5525.