Trusts and Estates Solutions

Find Peace of Mind the Collaborative Practice Way

Receiving an inheritance often brings out the worst in family members. The death of a loved one can reawaken old jealousies and resentments, which may have been festering for years.

Suddenly, people are at each other’s throats, ruining extended family relationships as well as their own. In some cases, those relationships can never be repaired.

Common reasons for disputes over estate plans include:

  • Hurt feelings over an unequal division of assets among heirs
  • Feeling pushed aside by second (or more) marriages
  • Disappointments over decisions in an estate plan
  • Confusion over what mom or dad “really meant”
  • Surprises no one knew about in wills or trusts

Your heirs may believe they have a “right” to an inheritance. While many people leave their assets to their heirs equally, there are many good reasons this may not happen. When those reasons are discussed in advance, heirs are much more likely to accept your decisions when they understand them, even if they do not agree with them.

The Collaborative Practice approach to Estate Planning takes the same professional team model with a highly successful record for respectful, no-court divorce, and applies it to preparing your wills and trusts.

Collaborative Practice is an alternative dispute resolution model similar to mediation. It is designed to help you and your family avoid stressful and costly litigation, helping you control outcomes and find your own solutions with non-biased professional support. This respectful process creates dialogue and understanding, preserves family relationships, and lowers costs, while avoiding the damage done by emotional conflict and adversarial courtroom drama.

Collaborative Practice works just as effectively with your estate planning as it does with divorce. Collaborative professionals work with you and your family to set up estate plans. There are no surprises or shocks. Disputes are aired and resolved in advance to everyone’s satisfaction.

The result: individuals and families who enjoy more satisfying, connected and fruitful lives going forward. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

The Collaborative Process

  • Defuses conflict among your family members and heirs
  • Preserves your privacy by preventing a public court battle
  • Conserves your assets instead of wasting them on litigation and lawyers
  • Builds better family relationships by resolving disputes together

Why Collaborative Practice Works in Estate Planning

  • The Collaborative approach helps preserve family relationships and resolve conflicts, even in intense situations. You receive maximum support from well-trained legal, financial, and mental health professionals who agree along with you in writing to avoid litigation.
  • Respect, communication and transparency are key elements. Everyone works together, instead of being at odds. No material information is withheld and there are no secrets.
  • Collaborative Practice provides real world solutions, where you remain in control. You protect the things that are important to you, while maintaining a priority on your family relationships. Individual needs are respected while your rights are preserved.
  • Collaborative Practice can assist you in exploring and creating effective solutions that address your interests. You will actively participate in crafting solutions, which helps defuse the fear, anger and resentment people often feel when life-altering decisions are completely out of their hands.
  • Collaborative Practice is recognized by law and by the courts in California, in the United States, and internationally.

How to Get Started with Collaborative Practice Estate Planning

Contact a practice group in your area through our “Find A Professional” search tool. A qualified Collaborative Practice professional can help you balance the emotional with the pragmatic. We can work it out.