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Is mediation, rather than litigation, right for you?

Is mediation, rather than litigation, right for you?

Many people experience conflict with their family members after the death of a parent or sibling.  Many times, this is just the tip of many problems that have been simmering beneath the surface for years.  When an estate is being administered, families often differ on how the estate should be handled.  While you cannot ignore documents filed in probate court, family problems can be ironed out prior to anyone fighting in probate court.  This is where mediation plays a vital role.

In mediation, a skilled mediator will act as a go-between for family members, helping each family member understand the positions of the other family members while trying to find a way to bring all family members together on common ground.  It is usual for most family disputes to revolve around one or two specific issues, rather than disagreement uniformly across all positions.  A skilled mediator can help family members see where their thinking is in agreement, while highlighting specifically what the disagreements are.  Mediators are paid by the hour, and a successful mediation can usually be accomplished in one day.  Mediators cost far less than the fees that will be paid to lawyers fighting in probate court.

The typical mediator will charge anywhere from $250 to $400 per hour with that sum divided among the participants in the mediation. The typical mediation will last anywhere from six to ten hours. If the mediation is not successful, then all that the parties lose is the mediator fee. Further, they have a clear understanding of each other’s position with some better appreciation for why those positions are sustainable in a court room.

The upside to the mediation is that many disputes are resolved at this level. Therefore, you are capping your legal fees at a relatively manageable level, and allowing the probate administration to move forward without unnecessary expenses or delay. The typical estate litigation can easily cost the participants tens of thousands of dollars. If you would like Robert Hughes to assist you with mediating your matter, please give us a call, and we can go over the details with you.  I am a licensed mediator, licensed by the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.


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