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One of the biggest struggles for most trustees is maintaining active relationships with beneficiaries, which is where California mediation can help. Oftentimes, tension can develop between different beneficiaries and trustees that can steer in a negative direction. Mediation is a great way to help prevent and work through some of these challenges before they end up creating unnecessary legal battles for all persons involved.
As part of many mediation California rules, all parties must undergo this alternative dispute resolution process in an attempt to reach a settlement before a lawsuit may proceed. Understanding the mediation process is necessary to help put nerves at ease and ensure that you're doing everything possible to help your situation.
Choose a Mediator. The first step in the process of probate mediation, as well as beneficiary mediation, is to choose a mediator. This person must be properly qualified to act and approved by the court. This is typically a professional mediator or experienced attorney.
Initial Evaluation. When a mediator is brought, you'll still be represented by your trust contest attorney. The mediator will evaluate both parties in one of two ways. Collaborative mediators will focus on bringing the parties together to reach an agreement by addressing each issue individually. An evaluative mediator will expose the weakness in both parties' cases and work to convince them that a settlement is better than going to trial and losing.
Offers and Counter-Offers. After the initial evaluation, your mediator will visit with each party to determine what issues can be settled. They will go back and forth, presenting different offers to both parties until both parties eventually reach an agreement about their disputes.
Written Settlement or Court. After both parties go through the offering process, they will hopefully reach a settlement. It's important to note that mediation isn't about winning or losing your case. It's about coming to a mutual compromise. Therefore, the mediator doesn't pass any official judgment on the case. If both parties reach a mutually agreed upon settlement, it will be drafted in writing and officially signed by both parties. If not, the case will progress to trial.
One of the biggest benefits that you can gain from enlisting the help of Citadel Law in your living trust dispute is that it will help to maintain your confidentiality. When you go to mediation, there's no official leak of the trustee or beneficiary names to the public as well as no disclosure of the assets in the account other than to the licensed mediator. This provides more privacy than going to court.
Another great benefit of mediation for beneficiary disputes is that it's a much faster process than court. The faster you can reach a settlement, the quicker the process will be. If you wait to go to court, it can take months or even years until a court date is set and all evidence and witnesses are presented.
Trust mediation is also much less expensive than going to trial. Since your attorney won't have to bring in witnesses or prepare for a court setting, they won't charge as much to represent you during mediation. This can make a big difference in your financial commitment to ending the disputes between beneficiaries of your estate.
It's not uncommon for beneficiaries and trustees to get into disputes over the trusts that have been established. Many times, these disputes can be handled out of court in the mediation process. This works to help save a lot of money, time, and headaches to successfully reach a mutually agreed upon settlement that everyone is happy with.
A mediation service can prevent or manage some of these difficulties before they get out of control, and create unnecessary legal battles. Contact a certified estate-planning attorney today at (800) 662-0882. and set up an appointment to get assistance on mediation services.
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