Baltimore Trust and Estate Disputes

March 1, 2012    Family Disputes - Mediation

MEDIATION WORKS FOR FAMILIES AND SIBLINGS IN DISPUTE OVER INHERITED PROPERTY INCLUDING SUMMER HOMES AND CHERISHED PERSONAL PROPERTY

When parents pass away, it is not only often a painful experience emotionally, but it also often brings about changed situations financially. It can even be a situation of relief mixed with grief and guilt, when the parent died after great suffering, or died when family conflicts were unresolved. Property is often left to children in the form of real estate or stocks. Primary homes and vacation homes are often left to grown children for them to decide appropriate use and disposition. Specific personal property distribution is often not addressed in wills in much detail. Family strife often develops over how such property will be used, managed and distributed.

Mediation is an ideal for matters such as Baltimore trust and estate disputes. It allows siblings and their spouses or significant others, or grandchildren if so chosen, to have meaningful dialogue about the effects of the deaths and how they wish to deal with and distribute inherited property in meaningful ways. Often old family controversies, personality dynamics and differences, or sibling rivalries that were never addressed years earlier emerge as obstacles. Mediation offers an opportunity for all involved to overcome such barriers by having a better understanding of each other, the situation, and to focus and take part in informed decision making that all feel is fair and workable. No mediation outcome is ever the same for all families.

Mediators help grown children with easier ways of relating to each other while each works through his or her own acceptance of their parents’ deaths. Mediators often help families who have inherited property decide how to use or co-own a summer home with shared rights and responsibilities of ownership. Mediators often help families create the plan of personal property distribution, which may also involve other family members many miles away, or may include decisions about what other resources are needed to provide valuations or to assist in the appropriate distribution. Rather than being left with loss as well as bitterness, families choosing to use mediation have a chance to move toward something more positive.

Trust and Estate lawyers also love mediation because the process allows families to craft their own outcomes that could never have been envisioned years prior when wills were created. Family members named in wills as executors or administrators also welcome mediation, because they often find themselves in situations where it is difficult to know or to please all siblings with the handling of the estate after the parents have died without a facilitated discussion. Mediators can prepare written summaries of the decisions made in the mediation process as well as with property plans. Baltimore trust and estate disputes and other counsel can also assist families as resources during and after the mediation process for other legal documents that beneficiaries may need.

Mediators of Louise Phipps Senft & Associates/Baltimore Mediation believe in Better Process…Better Outcome.