Trust & Estate Dispute Mediation
Estate distribution can often trigger highly contested disputes among family members when disagreements arise regarding how a substantial estate should be divided. At Smythe & Jones PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting disputing parties in reaching mutually acceptable resolutions through mediation.
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be an immensely stressful experience. If the distribution of the deceased’s estate deviates from expectations, underlying emotions can easily erupt, even leading to the destruction of long-term relationships with other family members and friends of the deceased.
To preserve these important relationships, estate, probate, or trust mediation offers a valuable alternative to litigation. Mediation provides family members with the opportunity to avoid lengthy courtroom battles that pit one side against the other. It also facilitates the resolution of financial aspects related to the estate while allowing participants to heal broken relationships. We specialize in mediating the following Trust & Estate Matters:
- Accounting issues involving high-value trusts and conservatorships
- Trust administration issues, including failures to comply with the terms of the trust, favoritism towards one beneficiary, self-dealing, mishandling trust assets, and breaches
- Claims of undue influence and capacity
- Contested inheritance rights
- Disputes over conservatorships
- Limited conservatorships
- Guardianship matters and associated custody and visitation issues
Regrettably, it’s a common occurrence for homeowners and contractors to forego formal written agreements, instead relying on bids or invoices. This practice has resulted in numerous lawsuits due to misunderstandings that could have been avoided if the parties had clarified their expectations from the outset. To prevent such conflicts, it’s crucial to include specific construction tasks in writing, written change orders for any work beyond the original contract, an attorney’s fees clause, payment dates and schedules, and a total project cost not to exceed. If you’re a homeowner and a contractor took your deposit but failed to complete or poorly executed the work, you can seek legal action against them and their bond if available.
On the other hand, if you’re a contractor and a homeowner refuses to pay you for your agreed-upon work, you can file a lien on the property where the work was carried out to secure payment.
Pursuing Mutually Acceptable Resolutions through Mediation
The attorneys at Smythe & Jones PLLC are highly skilled in trust and estate mediation. Our estate, probate, and trust lawyers focus on identifying the key interests of each party within a neutral setting specifically designed to facilitate mutually acceptable agreements. Our mediation expertise proves invaluable in recognizing common problems and fostering open conversations to address crucial issues.
Mediation offers several advantages over traditional litigation
- Cost-effectiveness and efficiency as an alternative to trial
- Flexible scheduling of mediation sessions
- Neutral environment conducive to discussing key issues
Through mediation, disputing parties are empowered to express their needs and interests, ultimately reaching a resolution that is mutually acceptable, rather than one imposed by a court.