Probate mediation

Earlier this year I was again entrusted with mediating a family trusts and probate dispute.  These are often among the hardest to resolve, with a potent tangle of strong emotions, historic grievances, and large sums of money.  Hanging over any inheritance case is always the wholly arbitrary power of redistribution by the Court under our poorly-drafted Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975.  (Sometimes it usefully concentrates people’s minds, but at other times it encourages unrealistic or destructive behaviour).

I find that parties often come to the process bruised by unproductive argument, feeling that they have not been listened to, and no-one is hearing what they say.  So, one of the first things the mediator can usefully do is listen, intelligently and respectfully.

These very personal disputes also benefit from early lengthy conversations over the phone with all parties, so the mediation day does not start “cold”, and confidence, optimism, and trust can already start to build.

There are often a lot of claims and counterclaims over who has already had what, what they need, deserve, are entitled to or have contributed, with everyone putting the worst interpretation on everyone else, which can be very hurtful, creating serious blockages.  I try to strip out all the labels, and capture the bare numbers, to enable everyone to see what the net underlying issues look like.

Sometimes there’s also a need to “speak truth to power” when someone is being unreasonable, and people are often surprisingly grateful for a third party view point.

Negotiating over money with your own family can be the hardest thing for any of us to do, with great risk of mutual hurt and misunderstanding; a neutral third party can facilitate a constructive discussion and help the parties to get resolution.

The mediation was successful, in my view because facilitative mediation is such a simple but subtle way to help people think clearly.

Earlier this year I was again entrusted with mediating a family trusts and probate dispute.  These are often among the hardest to resolve, with a potent tangle of strong emotions, historic grievances, and large sums of money.  Hanging over any inheritance case is always the wholly arbitrary power of redistribution by the Court under our poorly-drafted Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975.  (Sometimes it usefully concentrates people’s minds, but at other times it encourages unrealistic or destructive behaviour).

 

I find that parties often come to the process bruised by unproductive argument, feeling that they have not been listened to, and no-one is hearing what they say.  So, one of the first things the mediator can usefully do is listen, intelligently and respectfully.

 

These very personal disputes also benefit from early lengthy conversations over the phone with all parties, so the mediation day does not start “cold”, and confidence, optimism, and trust can already start to build.

 

There are often a lot of claims and counterclaims over who has already had what, what they need, deserve, are entitled to or have contributed, with everyone putting the worst interpretation on everyone else, which can be very hurtful, creating serious blockages.  I try to strip out all the labels, and capture the bare numbers, to enable everyone to see what the net underlying issues look like.

 

Sometimes there’s also a need to “speak truth to power” when someone is being unreasonable, and people are often surprisingly grateful for a third party view point.

 

Negotiating over money with your own family can be the hardest thing for any of us to do, with great risk of mutual hurt and misunderstanding; a neutral third party can facilitate a constructive discussion and help the parties to get resolution.

 

The mediation was successful, in my view because facilitative mediation is such a simple but subtle way to help people think clearly.

Earlier this year I was again entrusted with mediating a family trusts and probate dispute.  These are often among the hardest to resolve, with a potent tangle of strong emotions, historic grievances, and large sums of money.  Hanging over any inheritance case is always the wholly arbitrary power of redistribution by the Court under our poorly-drafted Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975.  (Sometimes it usefully concentrates people’s minds, but at other times it encourages unrealistic or destructive behaviour).

I find that parties often come to the process bruised by unproductive argument, feeling that they have not been listened to, and no-one is hearing what they say.  So, one of the first things the mediator can usefully do is listen, intelligently and respectfully.

These very personal disputes also benefit from early lengthy conversations over the phone with all parties, so the mediation day does not start “cold”, and confidence, optimism, and trust can already start to build.

There are often a lot of claims and counterclaims over who has already had what, what they need, deserve, are entitled to or have contributed, with everyone putting the worst interpretation on everyone else, which can be very hurtful, creating serious blockages.  I try to strip out all the labels, and capture the bare numbers, to enable everyone to see what the net underlying issues look like.

 

Sometimes there’s also a need to “speak truth to power” when someone is being unreasonable, and people are often surprisingly grateful for a third party view point.

 

Negotiating over money with your own family can be the hardest thing for any of us to do, with great risk of mutual hurt and misunderstanding; a neutral third party can facilitate a constructive discussion and help the parties to get resolution.

 

The mediation was successful, in my view because facilitative mediation is such a simple but subtle way to help people think clearly.

 

 

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