Unfortunately, numerous issues can cause stressful estate disputes when an estate plan or distribution is executed. These causes include, but are not limited to, ongoing sibling rivalry, lack of proper documents, and extended family conflicts. Should you be in a situation involving an estate dispute, the best way to handle it is to partner with a professional mediator trained in estate planning and family succession. A competent professional mediator can find solutions that are equitable and fair to all family members involved in these often emotionally charged situations.
Common Examples od Estate Dispute
Despite the best planning, or more commonly when there is little to no planning, emotionally painful disputes can arise regarding the disposition of assets in an estate or the management thereof. Here are some common problems:
- Disputes over the validity of documents. Disputes can arise if there is evidence or allegation that the decedent’s will was not executed properly.
- Conflicts with the executor or administrator. Disputes may arise if the manager of the decedent’s affairs is accused or has committed fraud or mismanagement.
- Disputes over property or asset distribution. This is a common problem, especially when sibling rivalries are longstanding.
- Sudden onset of disability. If a person becomes suddenly incapacitated and cannot effectively conduct their affairs, disputes can arise. They generally involve accusations that the decedent coerced to make a change in their will or didn’t fully understand what they were doing when making a change in their estate plan.
How Mediation Can Be the Best Way To Solve Estate Disputes
Mediation is often the best process to use when problems and disputes arise in affairs regarding estates. If, on the other hand, there is the heavy involvement of the courts, all the affairs become an open book and privacy goes out the window. Mediation, on the other hand, preserves confidentiality and family integrity and involved all parties in the resolution process.