Anticipate Conflict? Consider Confidential Estate Planning Mediation
By Zachary Mushkatel on May 7, 2013
In the famous first line of Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy wrote that “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Certainly no one knows the relationships between you and your planned heirs better than you do, which includes knowing when and where conflicts are most likely to arise when it comes time to execute your estate plan.
Although you can take certain steps to reduce conflicts privately, it is also wise to consider ways in which you can prevent or reduce conflicts after your death. One method is by using estate planning family mediation.
Mediation is an alternative means of dispute resolution used in many situations, from divorce to contract negotiation to estate planning. During mediation, the parties and their attorneys meet with a neutral third-party mediator, who helps everyone reach common ground. If an agreement simply cannot be reached, other options, such as going to court, remain available.
Estate planning mediation can help answer potentially contentious questions, including:
- Who will administer the trust and/or estate, both during your lifetime and after you have passed? Who is the best choice?
- What will the administrator’s duties be?
- What oversight or protections will you include to prevent elder abuse, including elder financial abuse?
- How should inheritances be distributed, and in what forms?
- How can your family best meet its needs when it comes to the estate plan?
Mediation is intended to create a safe space for family members to discuss these and other issues. Items discussed in mediation are confidential.
At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, our Peoria estate planning attorneys have the experience, focus, and skill to create an estate plan that carries out your wishes and satisfies the specific requirements of Arizona law. Contact us today to learn more.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.