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Wills and Estates

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The primary aim of the Collaborative Practice model in Wills and Estates is to help families resolve estate or succession planning issues without ending up in Court.

Estate disputes that can arise after the loss of a family member are emotionally and financially difficult. They can be made harder by an adversarial litigation process that can pit family members against one another and destroy family businesses. In addition, the inheritance may be tied up for years and ultimately diminished by multiple sets of legal costs.

Holding succession planning conversations with family members before death can be difficult. They are often avoided so that potential family conflicts are not triggered.

How does the Collaborative Approach help?

Family inclusive Estate Planning (pre-death)

Professionally supported family inclusive estate planning conversations pre-death can ensure that the future needs of family members are properly understood and met. Family relationships are maintained and conflicts over an inheritance are avoided.

Resolution of estate disputes (post-death)

Family members are supported by a team of collaborative professionals who help them craft their own settlement in a positive, respectful way. This can minimise protracted conflicts, legal costs and the uncertain outcomes of an adversarial court process.

How does it work?

Family members agree to a series of meetings together with a fully trained collaborative team of professionals.

The professionals usually include:

  • a solicitor for each party;
  • a neutral financial advisor (to explain the financial consequences of any options discussed); and
  • a communication coach (to guide everyone through the hard conversations).

A participation agreement is signed where all parties and the professionals commit to holding confidential discussions in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The professional team agree that they will not be part of any court proceeding if the collaborative process does not result in an agreement. This means that they are fully committed to working together as a team with ALL the parties to explore creative options in order to achieve a succession plan or settlement that everyone can live with.

Want to know more?

Download our brochure, and find a professional:

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