Mediators discussing probate mediation

Many challenges and emotions may arise after the death of a loved one. And those challenges and emotions heighten when confronted with a dispute about an inheritance. While seeking to protect your financial interests and familial relationships, probate mediation can address conflicts and avoid a lengthy, expensive courtroom battle.

Consider using Off The Record Mediation Services for your probate mediation when disputes arise after the death of a loved one. Dorit L. Goikhman, the founder of Off The Record Mediation Services, LLC, is a trained mediator who will aid your family in reaching an amicable settlement. 

Off The Record Mediation Services provides services to high-net-worth individuals in California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us today to book a mediation session or schedule a free consultation regarding your probate mediation.

What is Probate Mediation?

Probate mediation is a non-binding way to resolve concerns arising after a family member’s death. Instead, the mediator helps the parties resolve any disputes and mutually reach a decision.

Probate mediation differs from litigation in a few ways: 

  • The mediator helps the parties reach a decision but does not issue a decision. Dorit is not the equivalent of a judge or jury in a courtroom.
  • The goal is to work collaboratively to reach a mutually agreed-upon solution to the probate dispute during mediation. 
  • You do not present evidence to convince a judge or jury to decide the probate issue in your favor.
  • You agree to willingly disclose all information to reach a solution the parties can agree upon.

Why should you choose probate mediation?

Probate mediation can help preserve the relationships between family members. Litigation is an adversarial process where one side is trying to win. In mediation, you will work together to find a solution that satisfies each party. Each party is expected to work together and be fair and open about information throughout the process.

Litigation tends to be expensive because of the costs of having an attorney prepare for and represent you throughout a trial. With probate mediation, you can resolve the dispute without the formality and expenses of a trial. The parties agree to divide the mediation costs and costs of any experts. Additionally, the parties control how often and for how long they meet with Dorit.

Plus, with mediation, you have more control over how you resolve the dispute than you would have in a courtroom. Dorit will facilitate discussion to ensure each party is heard so each party walks away feeling satisfied with the final agreement.

When should you use probate mediation?

You can take advantage of probate mediation to resolve many types of disputes. A few examples of probate disputes Off the Record Mediation Services can assist with include: 

  • Disputes over the authenticity of a trust or will 
  • Disputes over the distribution of assets 
  • Management of an estate
  • Appointment of a personal representative or trustee

How does probate mediation work?

With probate mediation, the mediator will facilitate finding a solution to which the parties collectively agree. In proceeding with probate mediation, all parties agree to share information and work collaboratively toward a solution.

Before the mediation, the parties must prepare by gathering and reviewing relevant documents to the probate dispute. The parties can work with or without legal counsel to determine their requests. Legal counsel can advise throughout the process by being in the room during or outside the mediation.

Throughout the mediation, Dorit mediates the conversations to understand each party’s requests and identify areas needing more discussion. 

Once the parties agree to a solution, Dorit prepares a report of the agreement. The parties and their legal counsel will sign it and, if necessary, proceed with the probate process through the courts.

How long does probate mediation take?

In general, probate mediation takes less time than proceeding with litigation. However, the time it takes to resolve the dispute will depend on the parties’ willingness to reach a solution. The parties will agree on how frequently they want to meet with Dorit and for how long. Dorit may also encourage the parties to meet without her to accelerate the process.

What happens if we do not reach an agreement regarding the probate dispute?

If you cannot agree during mediation about the probate dispute, you may choose to proceed with probate litigation through the court. A probate and family law attorney can help guide you through the litigation process.

Is the information you discuss in a probate mediation confidential?

Yes. If you and the other parties have to continue with litigation to resolve disputes, in most cases, none of the information discussed in mediation can be used when proceeding with litigation. This obligation of confidentiality helps encourage the honesty and openness needed to resolve the dispute.

Service Areas

Off The Record Mediation Services, LLC helps customers throughout the Central California and San Francisco Bay area, including:

  • San Mateo County
  • Orange County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Marin County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Alameda County
  • Solano County
  • Napa County
  • Sonoma County
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • Fremont
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Rosa
  • Stockton
  • Sacramento
  • Modesto
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • Berkeley
  • Monterey
  • and more…

Why should I choose Off The Record Mediation Services for my probate mediation?

Dorit Goikhman, the founder of Off the Record Mediation Services, LLC, is a trained mediator with a legal background in family law. She will fairly and neutrally work with you and your family to resolve the probate dispute you are experiencing. 

Book a session or free consultation with Off The Record Mediation Services for your California probate mediation.