address14603 Huebner Rd., Bldg. 32, San Antonio, TX 78230

Call Us for a Free Consultation

Call us210-535-0870

The Role of Mediation in Contested Estates

 Posted on May 22, 2024 in Estate Planning and Probate

Wilson County Contested Estate AttorneyWhen a loved one passes away, the last thing a family wants is a drawn-out legal battle over their estate. Unfortunately, contested estates are not uncommon. Disputes can arise over the validity of a will, the distribution of assets, or the actions of the executor. These conflicts can be emotionally charged and financially draining for all parties involved. A Texas lawyer can help you with an alternative to litigation to help families resolve these issues more amicably and efficiently.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method involving a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who guides the disputing parties through discussions to help them find a mutually acceptable resolution. In the context of contested estates, mediation brings together the beneficiaries, executors, and other interested parties to address any concerns and work towards a resolution.

The mediator does not make decisions or impose solutions. Instead, they guide the conversation, ensure all parties have a chance to express perspectives and help identify areas of common ground. The goal is to create a space where open, honest communication can occur and creative problem-solving can lead to a settlement everyone can accept.

Mediation offers several advantages over litigation in resolving estate disputes:

  • Faster resolution, as mediation can often lead to a settlement more quickly than going through the court system.

  • Lower costs, since mediation typically involves less formal procedures and can be completed in a shorter timeframe.

  • Confidentiality, as mediation, is a private process that allows families to maintain privacy during a difficult time.

  • The preservation of relationships, as the collaborative nature of mediation encourages compromise, can help prevent further damage to family ties.

  • More control over the outcome, with parties able to craft creative solutions tailored to their unique situation.

The Mediation Process and Choosing the Right Mediator

In Texas, the mediation process for contested estates typically involves the following steps: agreeing to mediate, selecting a mediator, holding separate meetings with the mediator, participating in joint mediation sessions, and drafting a settlement agreement if a resolution is reached. If no agreement is reached, the parties may proceed with litigation or try another form of dispute resolution.

When selecting a mediator for an estate dispute, consider the following:

  • Experience in estate and probate law, as the mediator should understand the legal and emotional complexities of these cases.

  • Impartiality, with no prior relationship to any of the parties.

  • Mediation style and approach so you can seek a mediator who fosters open communication and creative problem-solving.

  • Credentials and training in mediation techniques.

Contact a Bexar County, TX Estate Planning Lawyer

While mediation may not be suitable for every contested estate case, particularly those involving allegations of fraud or illegal activities, it offers a path forward that can save time, money, and relationships. By working with a Comal County, TX estate planning attorney and approaching the process in good faith, families can find solutions that honor their loved one’s legacy and bring peace to all involved. Call Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law at 210-535-0870 to begin with a free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top