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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Robin Williams' family uses mediation to resolve estate dispute

If you learn that there is a dispute brewing over an estate, do you assume that it's about money? Many estate disputes are actually about personal items because of the sentimental value of those items. This kind of conflict can be even more intense and upsetting than those caused by money.

A dispute has broken out over personal and household items in the estate of the late Robin Williams. His children and his widow disagree about who should have specific items such as Mr. Williams' watches. Though it's always sad when a family argues about estate matters, I am glad that the family has chosen to go to mediation. The mediation process involves all parties sitting down together with a mediator to talk and attempt to resolve their differences without having to resort to a lawsuit. I wish more families would choose to use mediation in estate matters, as it is faster and cheaper than a court fight, and preserves the family relationships.

To learn more about the Williams estate and why the family is using mediation, click here to read a story from

The attached photo of Robin Williams accompanied the article in and is credited to Reed Saxon/AP.


  1. probate is over, i have done everything even though i am coexecutor of my mothers will and estate. my sister has done absloutely nothing including moving out of state. she wouldnt respond to my emails for questions or decisions about the estate and when the bank account was opened and both our names were on it, i was told i could use the bill pay part of the account to pay the estate bills and there wouldnt have to be two signatures. is this right. it has been over two years since mother passed and it has been a nightmare to get the very very small estate taken care of = very wishy washy probate judge and friends with attorney

    1. Might I just say that most of us lawyers and judges are friends. I mean, we DO exist outside of our offices, and a lot of us went to law school together. We see each other over and over again in work situations, so yeah we are all friends. Do you think a doctor does poorer surgery because he knows the anesthetist? Does a firefighter do a worse job because he knows the cops at the scene? Of course not. I wish people would stop being so paranoid that they think the lawyer and judge knowing each other is some kind of conspiracy.



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