Contesting a Will Step 4: Mediation
Many contesting a will cases are settled at mediation. A strong preparation by expert lawyers helps you get the best possible outcome.
The majority of will disputes cases don’t go to court – they are settled prior to going to trial or resolved through a process called mediation.
Mediation is a structured negotiation process where a mediator assists the parties to achieve their own resolution of the dispute, without the involvement of the court.
In order to go to mediation, as your lawyers we are required to file initiating documents in court in the form of a summons and affidavits in support. This step will be easy as we would have already prepared in detail all the relevant facts as set out in steps 1, 2, and 3.
Whilst settlement negotiations can be commenced at any time once court proceedings start, the court will very likely order the parties to attend mediation.
Benefits of contesting a will mediation
There are many advantages to attending court appointed mediation.
The main advantage is that the executor of the estate is required to provide a list of the assets of the estate and their current value, as well as the current value of the estate. This allows you and your lawyer to consider any offers of settlement with your eyes wide open.
If you have followed Step 2 of our 5 Steps to Contesting a Will, then mediation will be extremely beneficial to your case. It will allow you to show the other side the strengths of your case and enable you to obtain the best settlement outcome for your case plus discover the other side’s weaknesses.
Importance of good preparation
The most important thing to remember about mediation is preparation. While mediation is not the same as a court hearing, it is your opportunity to place your claim through your lawyers, in the strongest and best possible light in order to achieve a favourable settlement outcome.
High success rate
Based on our past history of hundreds of successful inheritance claims we have made, when you have GMP on your side it is highly likely the mediation will result in a favourable settlement.
The need for and importance of having an expert lawyer in charge of your case cannot be stressed enough. At GMP, we will draft Consent Orders and Terms of Settlement with clarity that bind the other side.
There are numerous cases in the court where Consent Orders and Terms of Settlement have been so poorly drafted that the parties have ended up in court again, arguing about their interpretation.