The demise of a family member may be difficult for the bereft members. After the mourning period, it falls upon the remaining family members to distribute the deceased’s estate. At this point, disputes may arise over the distribution of property, the shares of each beneficiary, the mode of distribution or even the extent of the deceased’s estate. While this may be solved by the construction of a will, there is no guarantee that the devolution of the estate will be easy. Wills may sometimes be deemed invalid by a court or even fail to consider some of the beneficiaries.
When this occurs, family members are put in a difficult situation of fighting with each other. In scenarios such as these, it is imperative for a family to get a family lawyer. A family lawyer retained by the family for a long time will understand the dynamics of the family and know how to properly devolve the estate among the remaining beneficiaries.
Where there is a dispute over a will, a lawyer ought to know the intention of the maker of the will and construe such to the advantage of the family members. Moreover, it is common for people who are not provided for in the will to come forth and claim a part of the inheritance. In these instances, the duty falls on a lawyer who is retained to distinguish fake claims from real claims.
Amicable resolution is always a safer bet being a dispute among family members. Before resorting for tedious and expensive litigation, it is pragmatic to attempt and resolve any disputes over a will using alternative forms. It is recommended to use some forms of alternative dispute resolution like conciliation, negotiation, or mediation. Mediation is the better of the three mentioned where family is involved. This is because the objects and agreement of mediation can be adopted by court as an order that will operate as if it were made by a court of law.
To avoid disputes, it would fall upon the family lawyer have extensive knowledge of the family, good training, and a very good understanding of the laws regulating testate succession.