How To Deal With Family Conflict During Probate - WillsAndEstates.Lawyer

How To Deal With Family Conflict During Probate

By Maureen Tabuchi | Kids & Family

Dec 08

As you may already know from reading our previous blogs, probate is the court process where a will is validated by the court. It’s during this process, that the executor receives a certificate of appointment to administer the will, as per the directions of the deceased.

It’s during the probate process and administration of the will that conflicts arise between family members, mainly those who are beneficiaries in the will and those who are not beneficiaries of the will. Conflict can arise for many reasons. For example, those left out of the will may believe that they should have been in the will, and therefore, claim that the will is not valid. Another example is the case where those beneficiaries noted in the will who don’t receive the amount they thought they would receive, claim that the will is not valid because they don’t believe this is what the deceased really intended.

When dealing with conflict, the key is finding out what the root cause of the problem is. With conflicts regarding wills and estates, it may appear on the surface that the issue is money, but often time the issue is a sense of not feeling loved. Those left out of the will or those beneficiaries who are given less than the others may feel that the deceased person did not really care for them or love them. Often time, when we are dealing with a conflict it’s hard to step back and see the bigger picture. This is why the recommended method for dispute resolution during probate is using a third party.

There are different types of dispute resolution methods you can use. You want to try to avoid having to litigate in court because this can be timely and expensive. The following are some resolution methods:

  1. Negotiating – Try negotiating amongst yourselves or using a lawyer.
  2. Mediation – Choose a mediator to use as a neutral third party to help the parties find a resolution. A mediator does not make any binding decisions. If you can’t resolve the issue through a mediator, then you will need to consider a method that leads to a binding decision.
  3. Arbitration – This leads to a binding decision. An arbitrator will hear both sides and make a final decision.

If all the above methods fail, then your only choice is to go to court. Don’t let it come to this.

Get started with your Ultimate Estate Plan Package and we’ll help you prepare your will in a way that will least likely to be contested.

About the Author

Maureen thrives on helping people with their legal challenges and it’s important to her that you and your family are protected by the law. With both a law and tax degree, Maureen is more than capable of ensuring your estate plan is sound and as someone who considers herself a “friend to all” her heart ensures she’s serving you from a place of authenticity and compassion.

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