Mediation of Contested Wills Posted by David West , 04/03/2016

Mediation of Contested Wills

Mediation of Contested Wills

Mediation is a process which can be adopted by parties to a dispute with a view to resolving it relatively quickly, cheaply and sometimes in imaginative ways which the court would not be able to deploy. It is particularly useful in disputes where emotions are running high like in Will-related disputes.

Sadly, many refuse mediation, preferring to “have their day in court”, resulting in the winner either overturning or upholding the will (as the case may be) and recovering his or her legal costs from the loser. The stakes could hardly be higher, in terms both of money and family pride. Faced with this, all but the most confident, obstinate or rich litigants will want to seek a less risky way out.

The Probate Bureau receives many contentious Will enquiries and, where an easy agreement cannot be struck, often refers such cases to John Melville-Smith of Seddons (specialist solicitors in this area of expertise) who has helped our clients get the justice they rightly deserve. Clients have been delighted with the results as well as the money saved.

Click here to review one such case study where our client, Mrs Smith (not her real name), was in dispute with her son Stuart over her brother’s £1 million estate. Her brother had died with a Will leaving this substantial estate to Stuart (just one of Mrs Smith’s three children). The deceased had made a prior Will, made many years before, which left his estate to Mrs Smith whose intention it would have been to then leave it equally between her three children, Stuart receiving one third. Her view was that Stuart had hijacked the whole estate…

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