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California Probate Mediation Services

Northern California probate mediation

Experienced Mediator for Estate Administration Disputes

The death of a loved one comes with many challenges, not the least of which is the emotional pain, grief, and loss that you must cope with. Unfortunately, with emotions running high for everyone, you may also find yourself dealing with personal and legal disputes related to the administration of your loved one's estate throughout the probate process. Handling these disputes is always unpleasant, but you may be able to stave off the worst of the effects if you can resolve your dispute through mediation.

A qualified mediator with probate experience can provide neutral, third-party guidance to help you resolve disputes with beneficiaries, estate administrators, and other parties by identifying mutually agreeable solutions. At the Law Office of David Schechet, we provide mediation services that are informed by our extensive experience with California probate and estate planning law throughout the past 35 years. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal matters using the right approach for your situation.

Mediation for Contested Will Disputes

In many cases, disputes arise during the probate process because one or more beneficiaries are upset about the distribution of the estate's assets according to the terms of the decedent's will. Sometimes, a person believes they have been unfairly left out of the will, or that another beneficiary was given a property they should have been entitled to. In other cases, a beneficiary may suspect impropriety in the creation of the will, perhaps due to fraud, undue influence, or a lack of testamentary capacity on the part of the decedent. Whether or not they have a legitimate claim to contest the will, an angry beneficiary can be incredibly difficult for other beneficiaries, as well as the estate executor or administrator.

However, if the involved parties are willing to consider mediation, it can be a good opportunity for everyone involved to gain a better understanding of each other's concerns and the decedent's wishes. A mediator will ensure that all parties have an opportunity to voice their perspectives, which may help them identify and address the personal issues at the heart of the matter.

Probate mediation may not only help you save time and money by avoiding unnecessary litigation in court, it can also help you maintain family relationships that could be irreparably damaged by a contested legal battle. Mediation also allows you to consider solutions that are more personally tailored to your family's needs, rather than the limited legal outcomes that are available through litigation.

Mediation for Estate Representatives and Trustees

Disputes also sometimes arise because beneficiaries are unhappy with the way that a decedent's estate executor or trustee is managing the estate's assets and carrying out their duties. These disputes often involve more complex financial concerns, and if a beneficiary files a civil claim, an administrator or trustee could be held liable for substantial monetary damages. Additionally, the attorney fees for an administrator or trustee may be paid out of the estate or trust, reducing the assets available to beneficiaries.

Through mediation, trustees and administrators can ensure that they understand the beneficiaries' specific concerns, and they can offer solutions that address these concerns and better align with the beneficiaries' interests. The parties may determine that some form of financial compensation is the most appropriate resolution, but there may also be room for alternative solutions, like improved lines of communication between the parties regarding the management and distribution of assets.

Contact a California Probate and Estate Dispute Mediator

We know that the probate and estate administration process can be stressful for everyone involved, and we are available to help when a dispute arises or starts getting out of hand. To request a free consultation, contact us today at 800-282-4731. We provide convenient probate mediation services in the comfort of your own home throughout the state of California.

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