Thursday, November 29, 2012
A collaborative process can be used in place of probate court proceedings to address issues in the disposition of an estate. The collaborative process is less time-consuming, less expensive and less confrontational than a traditional adversarial case. It is especially effective in disputes where monty is not the sole issue. Akron.com explains what collaborative probate law is and how it works.
1. What is collaborative probate law? This is a process that can be used to settle disputes over an estate in place of probate proceedings. Each collaboration participant is represented by his or her own attorney and all parties and their attorneys work in face-to-face meetings to resolve probate issues. All interested parties get a spot at the table, and these kinds of settlements tend to be more satisfactory to the parties, and therefore more enduring.
2. How does it work? All parties and their attorneys first get permission from the court to put the case on hold while a collaborative settlement is attempted. All parties then sign a collaborative law participation agreement saying that they will all take a reasoned approach to the issues. After the agreement is signed, each party meets with his or her attorney, and then the first collaborative meeting is held. The attorneys agree that, if the collaborative process does not work, they will withdraw and not represent a party in any court proceeding substantially related to the dispute's subject matter. The five steps of the collaborative process are as follows: (1) determine goals, interests, and concerns; (2) gather relevant information; (3) develop options; (4) evaluate options; and (5) negotiate a settlement.
See Collaborative Process Used to Settle Probate Disputes, Akron.com, Nov. 29, 2012.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.