Did you recently lose a loved one? Has the probate process come to a standstill due to disputes about how his or her estate should be distributed? Are you worried that this means drawn-out court proceedings will be in your future? In the state of Washington, it may be possible to avoid litigation entirely by requesting the disputes be resolved through the mediation process.
The Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act, which has been in effect for just over 19 years now, allows you to skip litigation when you have a probate dispute that needs to be resolved. TEDRA can be used to tackle a wide range of disputes, such as questions regarding will validity or existence, claims of undue influence, third-party claims and concerns regarding beneficiary designations -- among various others. If you wish to utilize TEDRA, you have to file an official petition in court, then the real work can begin.
Mediation requires that all involved parties meet to discuss the issues at hand in an effort to reach agreeable terms. How long this takes will vary from case to case. A mediator will be present at all meetings to help the process move along. If mediation does not seem to be working out, legal counsel can offer guidance on the next steps available to you.
Probate disputes are more common than you might think. If you find yourself battling with family and others over the distribution of your loved one's estate, it is okay, you can get through this. Thanks to TEDRA, peaceful and swift resolution is possible. To learn more about how probate works in Washington and how legal counsel can help you through it, please visit our firm's website.