Every year, there’s literally thousands of estate disputes hitting the courts brought by disgruntled relatives. These tend to be particularly ugly fights given that by the time a testator has died, positions have often been entrenched for the better part of their lifetime. Is it any wonder that bitterness comes out in “I want more” or “why do you have more than me”?
Why not resolve estate disputes before the will-maker dies? Collaborative estate planning brings together all interested parties and provides a safe, contained space where differences might not only be aired, but the needs underlying them can come out. Once in the open, the testator then has choice about how to fashion relationships after their death. Its sooo much easier to do that than fight about it all after the event!
Still, some disputes will inevitably arise, perhaps where the will-maker wasn’t able or willing to reconcile differences during their lifetime. So rather than engaging in an adversarial proceeding, bringing the parties together in a collaborative dispute resolution process enables them all to be deeply heard in the same safe and contained space. Emotions, often the very thing which cause pauses in court cases, are welcome since when expressed, they point to underlying needs which can then be addressed directly.
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