Georgia estate disputes can easily ruin relationships between family members. These types of issues include Georgia will contests and sticky situations such as the removal of a family member deemed unfit to be the executor of the will. We can all think of examples of famous estate disputes that have resulted in long drawn-out legal battles that last for years, even some that extend beyond the lifetime of the heirs. Due to the emotionally charged nature of probate hearings, when an issue comes to the surface during probate it is difficult to solve quickly without more emotional and financial damage to family members and a loss of estate assets.
Mediation is one alternative to allowing disputes to be resolved in a protracted probate trial. The Probate Judge will often prescribe a court ordered mediation to resolve conflicts between heirs and beneficiaries. This is done before the probate proceedings start or just after they begin, when conflicts have just come to the surface. During mediation the parties involved can air their concerns, present evidence and confront each other on the issues. Anything agreed upon between the parties during mediation is binding and will carry forward into the probate hearing. An experienced Georgia probate litigation lawyer can assist in this type of mediation by helping participants present their position on the issues.
There are some red flags to consider indicating that estate disputes are likely and mediation should be considered. These include multiple marriages during the life of the deceased, children who are left out of a will, preferential treatment of people outside of the family, special treatment given to certain children and family members (other than the spouse), recent changes to the will that cut out specific heirs and when the administrator or executor are slow to perform the fiduciary duties required of them. If these conditions present themselves, it is a good idea to consult with an Atlanta, Georgia probate attorney with expertise in estate litigation, who also has experience with dispute mediation. With good legal representation, all sides in the dispute can receive fair treatment and the probate process can move forward before the estate’s assets are spent.
At The Libby Law Firm our Atlanta and Marietta probate attorneys are dedicated to resolving your estate disputes in the fastest and most cost effective manner possible. Please feel free to call our Atlanta probate Lawyers at (404) 467-8611 to discuss all of your estate or probate needs. You can also meet with one of our Marietta, Georgia probate lawyers in our probate Law Firm’s Marietta, Georgia Office. You can also send us a message through our confidential Web Site form.