How Professional Mediators Assist With Will Disputes MediationJulian Sanchez / November 8, 2019
Going through Will disputes mediation procedures might appear like a difficult exercise, but there are key benefits to dealing with professional operators in this space.
When participants are in the midst of contesting the document or challenging the very legitimacy of the terms, there are advantages to going down this path than heading to a courtroom directly.
Independent & Impartial
Professional mediators who offer clients a chance to engage in Will disputes mediation processes offer an asset of value that other parties cannot provide. While lawyers and legal practitioners give a high degree of expertise on the subject, these operators are entirely impartial. Their role is to facilitate positive discussions where concessions can be made and terms can be agreed that become legally binding. They have no direct stake in the process other than performing this very key role, ensuring that any executor or beneficiary is dealing with a professional who has no conflict of interest.
Offering a Confidential Space
When participants decide to work through the local court systems, their statements and demands are all on the public record. By going through Will disputes mediation, executors, beneficiaries and applicants alike are able to operate in a voluntary program where any such information remains confidential and private. This is helpful for a number of reasons, particularly for those participants who are fearful of litigation or paying for a legal process where there are strict parameters that limit an open and honest dialogue. Some parties might prefer to keep their counsel and not disclose demands, but others who want to come to the table in good faith find this process empowering and free of much of the hassle involved with a courtroom.
Shortcutting The System
Expediting the process and shortcutting the system remains one of the key selling points to engaging in Will disputes mediation procedures. While a courtroom attendance has to be set months in advance before applications and responses take additional weeks and months to process, this is a means of cutting through the red tape and finding common ground. For constituents who don’t have endless resources and large financial sums to contest an estate, this is often seen as the best solution available.
Outlining Clear Facts to All Parties
Often there can be a breakdown in communication before Will disputes mediation takes place. When a beneficiary has not actually read the document or has been told misinformation by a party with conflicted interests, it can be hard to determine what parameters are in play in these circumstances. By calling upon these professional operators, clients are able to sit down and be privy to the facts of the case in the presence of all other stakeholders. From the probate status of the Will to the window of opportunity for parties to make a contest or a challenge to the document, there are certain laws and processes that are involved that have to be communicated to those of interest.
Court Procedures Still Available
There are certain cases where applicants, executors and beneficiaries engage in Will disputes mediation procedures before eventually attending a hearing in court. Rather than seeing the first step as a wasted exercise, it can help to officially define what terms can be agreed and where disagreements still lie before the case is heard before a judge. This is not an ‘either/or’ situation given that the mediation is a voluntary space, but those discussions can still create a circumstance where a legal dispute occurs outside of that realm.
Professional operators who give clients a chance to work through Will disputes mediation processes often find that their results are positive. Costs are saved, time is minimised and the mental and emotional health of participants is improved.