Mediation is a popular method for solving estate planning disputes that has gained traction in recent years. However, like any other conflict resolution method, mediation has pros and cons.
Mediation has many advantages. It is a highly effective way for people to solve problems between them. It can be especially helpful in estate planning cases because they typically involve family members and mediation can support preserving relationships. While not always, fighting things out in probate court can harm family members’ relationships with one another.
Mediation creates a safe and neutral setting for parties to voice concerns and seek resolution. Through this conflict-solving approach, open communication is encouraged, and relationships are preserved, with the aim of avoiding irreparable damage caused by legal disputes.
Mediation offers several benefits, including:
- Control over the outcome
There are certain cases where mediation is not the best method for conflict-solving. Mediation may not be the best option for certain cases when:
- There is an uneven power dynamic.
- There is no legal expertise available, and the clients are without attorneys.
- The non-binding nature of mediation would not be appropriate for the case.
Mediation in estate planning disputes offers advantages like relationship preservation, cost savings, confidentiality, and flexibility. However, mediation is not appropriate in every instance, and in some cases, people will end up in probate court.
It is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks before deciding. In addition, the parties must be willing to actively participate in mediation, which is a voluntary process, and be willing to cooperate and act in good faith so the parties can reach a mutually acceptable agreement.