Estate planning in California is often thought of as something that the benefactor does alone without little or little input from their family. However, there are benefits to going through a mediation process while drafting your estate plan.
Poor communication often causes conflict and strife. Miscommunication with family and/or professionals during the estate planning process may result in ill feelings or a legal issue with your plan. Mediators have a gift for communication and can explain what each person wants in a way that the other will understand.
Mediators also encourage testators to explain the choices that they made to their beneficiaries. This helps prevent misunderstandings and hard feelings.
Know what matters to beneficiaries
Sometimes, what you think a beneficiary prefers isn’t what they care about most. For instance, your eldest child might not be interested in inheriting your house, whereas your youngest child does. This kind of knowledge is useful when making your plan.
Some people find it harder to accept their inheritance when their loved one never discussed it before they died. While they appreciate the assets that they received, they wish that they could have expressed gratitude while their loved one was still alive. Involving the family in estate planning can help ease their future grief.
It also reduces the risk of conflict because everyone has already had a thorough, open discussion about the estate plan. Each person understands the reasoning and knows what to expect.
If you and your spouse don’t get along well, then mediation makes the estate planning process more productive and peaceful. Mediators know how to manage tempers and guide people toward finding a middle ground.
Going through mediation doesn’t mean you give up the ability to choose what to do with your assets. It allows you to hear the perspectives of others and attempt to maintain peace between them during and after your life.