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Using mediation to solve estate disputes and preserve families

After the death of a loved one, family members may run into any number of conflicts while closing out the estate. If the loved one left an estate plan, it may contain questionable instructions, but having no will can leave even more confusion. When there are disputes, it is common for heirs to seek a more peaceful resolution, such as mediation, rather than dragging their family members through court.

Mediation can provide a way for those involved to resolve their conflicts without court battles that often leave families with lifelong scars. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not make any decisions. He or she simply guides the participants in negotiating and resolving their differences. It is wise for those with estate disputes to choose someone who has training and experience in mediating disputes based on probate laws in British Columbia. Both sides may also benefit from individual legal counsel.

Before heading to mediation, those involved should prepare by considering what they hope to gain from the outcome. A lawyer's advice can be helpful in deciding the issues one is willing to compromise on and those for which he or she will stand firm. Both sides will gather documentation to support their claims, and in some cases, the parties may agree to invite experts to shed light on the issues in dispute.

The process of mediation for an estate dispute involves negotiation and compromise. This may be more appealing than taking the matter through a contentious litigation. With the guidance of an experienced British Columbia lawyer, an heir may have a better chance of a successful mediation that ends with a fair settlement and intact family relationships.

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