In many cases, meditation can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to settling a dispute.
Mediation, negotiation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) are processes that can help to resolve conflicts that may be a part of an estate plan. Our lawyers at the Center for Estate Planning have received extensive mediation training, giving us insight into creating a client-friendly process to provide favorable results.
When most people think of mediation or ADR, divorce cases or business matters often come to mind. But it is also being used more frequently to address unclear issues within an estate plan. It can reduce stress, improve communications and preserve relationships for all parties involved, all while saving time and money.
Once an agreement is reached, there is no need for a court proceeding that might take months or years to resolve, particularly if an estate has a high value and involves various properties, accounts and valued goods. It can also offer a sense of harmony to family members by letting them become an active part of the process to resolve any differences.
An elderly parent may be more susceptible to outside forces as they age involving mental capacity and undue influence issues. Such cases are crowding the dockets of probate courts not just in Michigan but around the country. Mediation or ADR serves as a safety valve to have the dispute solved in some way other than a court trial.
There are other types of ADR that our firm can use to meet your needs. Arbitration is a legally binding option that may be preferable to some clients because of the finality that it offers.
Facilitation involves a neutral person helping a group work together more effectively. Facilitators may work with small groups of family members, or with representatives of them. The goal is to arrive at a collaborative or consensus-building process where decisions are accepted by all parties.
Contact us to learn if mediation or some other form of ADR may be appropriate for you and your family’s dispute.