Los Altos Dispute Resolution/Mediation
In addition to being seasoned trust and estate litigators, the attorneys at Kramer Radin, LLP are well-versed in alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation. We are sensitive to the fact that many trust and estate litigation matters involve family members who are upset over the recent loss of a loved one. Sometimes this grief gives rise to tension and anger among the family members and triggers an intra-family conflict.
Trust and estate litigation matters are often particularly contentious and emotionally charged, especially when the dispute involves family members. Our attorneys understand that many probate, trust and estate disputes are really disputes over family relationships more than they are disputes over property.
Understanding the True Nature of Trust and Estate Disputes
A dispute may arise over the administration of an estate for many reasons. Conflict often occurs because of dissatisfaction with the decedent’s estate plan. This frequently happens when there are actual or perceived inequities in the distribution of an estate, such as when an heir is disinherited or receives a smaller share of the estate than his or her siblings. This can also occur in second marriage scenarios when the decedent’s children are at odds with a stepparent.
Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in resolving all manners of trust and estates disputes, including:
- Disputes over the construction and validity of an estate planning document
- Allegations of fraud, coercion or undue influence
- Disputes among beneficiaries of a trust or estate and a fiduciary, including disagreements over who should act as the fiduciary or concerns over financial decisions or investments made by the fiduciary
Mediation of Trust and Estate Disputes
We often recommend mediation as an expeditious and cost-effective alternative to litigation. Trust and estate litigation is costly in terms of both the financial and psychological toll it takes on the participants. Our goal is to always achieve a favorable resolution for our client, with minimal expenditure on attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.
Mediation allows the parties to avoid some of the emotional costs of litigation. Litigation is adversarial in nature and tends to pit one party against another. In mediation, the parties air their grievances in a private setting, and the confidentiality of the process allows them to openly discuss difficult issues and forge a mutually agreed upon resolution, rather than one which is imposed on them by the Court. Because the parties work together to reach a resolution, they are more likely to repair or maintain their relationship.
Trust and Estate Litigation and Appeals
We recognize that not all disputes can be resolved in mediation. If litigation is in the best interests of our client, our experienced litigators have an established track record of achieving successful results on behalf of our clients.
To learn how we can assist you in resolving your trust and estate dispute, contact Kramer Radin, LLP for a consultation.