June 30, 2022

Probate Mediation to Resolve Family Disputes

“Probate” is a legal term that never pops up until you need to know it, which unfortunately is often at one of the most difficult periods of anybody’s life–after the death of a loved one. When you die, your property, assets, and debts need to be transferred appropriately, and this is what the probate process entails. 

A valid Minnesota Will can make the probate process relatively straightforward as it simply involves overseeing the provisions of the Will. If the decedent did not have a valid Minnesota Will, the probate process can become more complicated. Regardless of an estate’s complexity, the administration of a loved one’s estate can come with many potential roadblocks and pitfalls that can make an emotionally difficult process even more challenging.

Death brings big emotions–and big disagreements 

No reasonable person would ever judge another for feeling heavy sadness and grief after the death of a family member; it’s a natural part of life! It can almost seem unfair that such a complicated legal process has to be started during what is often one of the most emotionally intense moments of our lives, but handling these legal matters in the moment can prevent larger legal issues down the line.

Of course, with big emotions comes disagreements.  It’s not uncommon for families to experience friction when they find out what is in someone’s Will. This can be worse in cases in which a decedent died intestate. A beneficiary may feel that they have not received a fair consideration by the deceased, or may feel that the deceased’s assets and estate have been mismanaged.

 It can be tempting to dismiss these qualms as just a symptom of grief, but family members may believe they have genuine grievances and want to pursue legal action to resolve the dispute.

Save the stress of going to court with probate mediation

Most estate disputes do not end up in court. This is because a trial adds more stress to such emotionally volatile situations. And a courtroom over an estate can drive wedges between family members and create lasting negative memories during an already difficult period in any family’s history. 

While not all disputes can be resolved outside of court, many common probate disputes can be settled through mediation instead, with happier and more satisfactory outcomes for all parties. In probate mediation, a neutral third party can help families come to an agreement about the estate. Mediators are not decision-makers, but help facilitate productive conversation and problem-solving to get all parties an outcome they can agree to without needing to fight it out in court.

Thoughtful mediation during difficult times

Experienced, knowledgeable, and effective legal experts are obviously an important element in any legal consideration, but this becomes even more true during disputes arising after a highly emotional event such as the death of a loved one. That’s why you want to have in your back pocket a team that’s not just professional and knowledgeable, but considerate and compassionate as well.
If you’ve experienced a death in the family and are running into the tricky grounds of probate disputes, SchindelSegal is here to help. For probate and mediation professionals that can help your family reach an outcome that’s best for everyone, contact SchindelSegal at 952-358-7400 or by emailing Info@SchindelSegal.com.