Early intervention in estate disputes is important before the relationships of the parties involved are utterly destroyed by litigation. Mediation allows the parties to restore and/or prevent the breakdown of relationships.
The cost of estate litigation is often borne by the estate and where the estate is modest the costs can consume much of what is in dispute. A colleague recently told me of his involvement in a small estate dispute of some $300,000 of which almost $100,000 was lost on legal fees. This will most likely result in even more conflict and life long bitterness.
Mediation undertaken in a timely manner will provide all of the parties a dignified method of resolving the dispute. The adversarial nature of litigation, as opposed to the problem solving approach of mediation, leaves destroyed relationships and usually involves high legal costs by all involved. Mediation often leads to settlements that the parties have themselves created and whilst not everyone believes they have “won” they are usually thankful that they have avoided the costly and destructive outcomes that litigation inevitably brings. There is an old adage that the only winners in litigation are the lawyers. In many ways this can be true although the lawyers are of course acting on instructions so it is unfair to blame lawyers for the inability of their clients to take a more considered problem solving approach to disputes involving estates.
Mediation can be undertaken with or without the presence of lawyers but as with mediation of any legal dispute it is essential that mediation participants have had legal advice to assist them to come to an informed outcome.
Contact Randal now for an information session during which Randal will listen to the issues you face and provide you with information about the mediation process.