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Mediation for the elderly in probate disputes

Going through a probate dispute regarding the legitimacy of a will or trust can be a very stressful situation to be in. When you are over the age of 65 or are suffering with health problems, this can be an even more distressing scenario, and it can lead to health deterioration.

In these situations, instead of lengthy legal processes, the person involved may want to look down the road of mediation. Mediation is the process of working through a problem between two or more people using a third party member that is neutral in the argument, and often trained specifically in working through conflicts.

Mediation, especially in situations when elderly people are involved, can present a highly advantageous alternative to litigation, both from a financial and emotional perspective. It means that the matters can be dealt with in privacy rather than through a public court hearing.

It also creates a scenario where the people involved can discuss their issues in a more informal and comfortable setting. Many probate disputes are not inherently legally bound in nature -- they much more commonly involve a conflicting of emotions. Both anger and resentment play key roles in motivating people to raise a dispute.

Mediation can create more flexibility for families to heal from a process that has scarred them as well as being able to mourn together as one. It is common for families going through a probate dispute to firstly seek mediation to see if a mutual agreement can be made. If there is no way for the two parties to agree, often litigation will be sought.

Source: Pepperdine, "Mediation in the elderly," accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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