I can see why people get frustrated and angry with estates. Everyone is paying a ton of money to their lawyers and the process seems to go on absolutely forever. People honestly don't realize what they are getting themselves into when they start a court fight over an estate.
I've thought for years that the court system is really not the best place for the resolution of estates, and I am more convinced than ever that I'm right. I believe that when a dispute arises, families should go straight to mediation, and only if that fails should they go to court. Judges and courts should only be called upon when other methods fail.
I think part of the problem is that when clients go to see their lawyers about an estate disagreement, they don't really come in with the mindset of finding out the options. In my experience, some (not all, of course) clients are fired up and angry, and all they really want to know about is how to use the legal system as a hammer to pound down the person on the other side. They don't want to hear about meeting where they'll all talk out the issues. Lawyers can tell clients a hundred times that they'd be better off in mediation, but in some cases, the clients want to cause all the trouble and aggravation they can for the other side. If only they realized they were doing it to themselves as well.
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