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Mediation in estate disputes

February 26, 2012
  • Litigation creates winners and losers.  Mediation has the potential to preserve relationships.  In an earlier blog I wrote about such advantages of mediation.  To expand upon that, let’s look at estate disputes.
  •  The opposing parties are invariably family members fighting over the cottage, the silverware, the stock portfolio, and the like.  Once the dispute goes to the Courts, the likelihood is that the loser (and litigation invariably creates winners and losers) will resent the winner, and may never speak to him or her again.  As well, since often the legal costs come out of the estate, unless one party was being extremely unreasonable and is required to pay his or her own costs (and possibly the other party’s as well), both parties will be angry with the other by reason of the depletion of the estate assets in order to fund the litigation. 
  • With mediation, a middle ground is sought and often achieved, which makes winners of both, thereby potentially preserving the relationship. 

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