Probate and Will Disputes: Proven Benefits of Mediation in Solving Disputes
When dealing with inheritance and matters of taking over family wealth, it is essential to understand what the term probate means. Probate refers to the legally binding process of handling the wealth and assets left behind by the deceased. Usually, it is done by a relative of the departed person (lay executor) or a professional (solicitor) appointed by the dead when they were alive. The lay executor may choose to nominate a probate executor or directly deal with the DIY probate registry.
Will disputes and Contesting
Dealing with a departed loved one is one of the worst nightmares that one can go through. However, the matter is more difficult when there is a will that everyone seems not to agree to lead to disputes over who gets what. When there are disputes on the will, the parties involved can contest it before or after the probation to ensure their interests are addressed. The will challenging process according to the law is a very complex and can drive families further apart. A will can be contested under several grounds. These are:
Forgery of the will
This is one of the standard problems revolving around probate and will disputes. Usually, the signature of the deceased is forged on the will to make it seem original. Fraud is illegal before the law; it is seen as an intentional act to deceive people with an aim to damage other people or for personal gains. If fraud is proven regarding the will, it is then termed as invalid.
If the will does not meet conditions of will’s act
- The will act states that for a will to be valid, it must adhere to the following requirements:
- Must be signed and written by the testator.
- The testator must have intentions for the will to be validated by his signature.
- There must be witnesses to the will to acknowledge the testator’s signature.
- The witnesses must either sign and attest the will or confirm his signature before the testator.
Lack of approval and knowledge.
Coercion or undue influence.
Lack of mental capability by the deceased.
Probate and will disputes are conflicts that occur many at times, among beneficiaries of a will during the will reading process. The disputes may arise if the involved parties do not agree on how property and wealth of the deceased were distributed among them. Usually, after losing a loved one, old family conflict may be resurrected due to the grief and tension, which can further lead to disagreements on the will. There are several ways to deal with will disputes; however, they may not always meet the demands of each beneficiary.
How can mediation help in probate and will disputes?
Mediation is one of the ways through which conflict over inheritance can be solved among families. It is an alternative way of handling will disputes other than going to court. The process involves using a neutral person, usually a mediator to help the beneficiary reach a mutual ground. Will dispute mediation consists of the use of a mediator whose sole responsibility is to enable the family members to talk about the problem, its possible solutions and choose the most amicable way out of the dispute.
Advantages of mediation.
- Takes lesser time as opposed to the court proceedings.
- The court always has an endless list of cases to deal with; this might make your case take a long time to be solved. However, mediation is done as soon as the parties involved are ready to talk.
- It ensures confidentiality of the family information and sources of wealth since documentation are not necessary. It also minimizes media attention in cases where the deceased was a public figure.
- It is cost effective.
- It improves and builds broken family relationships.
In conclusion, mediation in settling will disputes is effective because the involved parties make their own decision, not a lawyer nor judge. Family disputes over probate and wills can be handled in a way that each beneficiary will be contended with, without driving the members further apart and spending too much money.