Home » Practice Areas » Probate Mediation
In probate matters, mediation is a common method of resolving disputes and avoiding probate litigation. Mediation is a voluntary negotiation facilitated and assisted by an impartial third party (a mediator) trained in settling disputes. Unlike other forms of alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration, mediation is non-adjudicatory. No findings of fact or law, whether binding or non-binding are made by the mediator.
Our attorneys can help you develop a mediation strategy by explaining the procedure, how it works, and what to expect as the process unfolds. Mediation takes place in stages, and we can serve as your legal counsel throughout the process. Having over 20 years of expertise in negotiation, mediation, and litigation, we know what it takes to successfully complete a mediation process.
Our attorneys can help you develop a mediation strategy by explaining the procedure, how it works, and what to expect as the process unfolds. Probate mediation takes place in stages, and we can serve as your legal counsel throughout the process. Having over 20 years of expertise in negotiation, mediation, and litigation, we know what it takes to successfully complete a mediation process. The mediation process is divided into three stages and begins with a private meeting via Zoom video conference.
Here, all parties and their counsel meet individually with the mediator. The mediator explains the process and establishes the ground rules during this session. If all parties agree to participate in a general session, each attorney discusses his or her client’s perspective of the case, as well as the legal and factual issues. Clients are urged to talk, but they are not obligated to. The mediator clarifies issues, identifies areas of agreement, and inquires about previous settlement agreements.
Following the general session, or in lieu of the general session, the parties separate into conference rooms or (Zoom video conferencing break out rooms) for private discussions called caucuses. These caucuses are kept confidential. Except with the express agreement of the party, everything discussed with the mediator during a caucus cannot be repeated outside of the caucus. This private conference permits counsel to discuss issues that he or she would not want to discuss in front of opposing counsel.
Then, the mediator, the party, and counsel have an open conversation about the risks, the party’s interests to be preserved, settlement flexibility, and the case’s strengths and weaknesses.
The mediator will begin acting as a go-between for the parties at some time throughout the caucus process, relaying settlement offers back and forth.
Once it appears that a consensus has been established, the mediator then brings the parties back together, figuratively and/or literally. The mediator supports the parties in memorializing the key aspects of the agreement, which each party has signed.
The entire case is kept private and confidential throughout the mediation process. The law forbids the mediator or any other party from disclosing anything discussed during the mediation to the court. At most, the mediator will inform the judge if the case has settled or not. See Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 154; Tex. R. Evid. 604.
Our estate litigation attorneys enjoy a reputation for sound advice, efficiency, and practicality. Our first and foremost goal will always be to achieve the best possible result for our clients. Quite frequently, we are able to settle such proceedings without trials after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by respective parties and the tax rules applicable.
Our Houston Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with probate mediation. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters.
Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified probate attorney.
Probate cases are handled by a number of different courts in Texas. This can include statutory probate courts, county courts, and even district courts. Regardless of the type of court, one thing holds constant: the court is busy. Most courts in Texas have high caseloads. This is true of statutory probate courts in the largest […]
Probate cases can be challenging given the different parties involved. In some cases, family members who have lifetime differences and long-running disputes are forced to work together to wind up the decedent’s last affairs. These disputes often end up in probate court. This can result in disputes and overreaching. The recent Estate of Allen, 658 […]
What happens when there is a dispute between parties regarding the validity of a life insurance beneficiary designation? This scenario raises complex legal questions surrounding conflicting claims and the rightful entitlement to life insurance proceeds. The solution lies within the realm of “interpleader” lawsuits. These legal actions offer a remedy when parties notify the life […]