California Trust and Estate Dispute Mediation Attorneys

We Represent Individuals in Mediation Related to Trust and Estate Disputes

Disputes related to trusts and estates can be extremely contentious. In many cases, family members are fighting over assets with significant financial or emotional value, and it often feels as if neither side wants to give an inch, forcing all parties to gear up for a fight. It is important to remember that some disputes can be resolved out of court and that you should consider mediation before you and the other party arrive at the courthouse steps ready for trial.

This has been the biggest year for mediation in the history of our law firm. This is a significant milestone for everyone involved in litigation related to elder abuse, trusts, and estates, including our clients and other lawyers. In many cases, resolving disputes through mediation is highly preferable to litigation, so you should discuss mediation with your attorney to determine whether it is an option for you. To schedule a free case evaluation with a California trust and estate dispute litigation lawyer, call Hackard Law today at (916) 313-3030 or (213) 357-5200, or contact us online.

Mediation is Common

Many of our clients are initially concerned that our willingness to pursue mediation could be perceived by the other side as a sign of weakness. It is important to keep in mind that mediation in an extremely common way to resolve disputes. In fact, there is research that indicates that only about one in 100 filed tort cases actually make it to trial in the federal court system.

Furthermore, in our own experience, only about 3 percent of civil cases in California go to trial. Regardless of the exact number of cases that end up in court, it is a mere fraction of the number of cases that are filed. Here are some of the issues that we may be able to resolve on your behalf through mediation:

  • Will and trust contests
  • Allegations of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Guardianship disputes
  • Allegations of undue influence
  • Disputes regarding capacity to form a trust or a will
  • Trustee removal disputes
  • Disputes regarding advance health care directives
  • Pretermitted heir disputes

Medication Can Save You Time and Money

The prevalence of mediation means that it is a reality that cannot be ignored. For litigants, the means a choice between recognizing that fact early in the process, or after a trial date has been set-and costs will typically get higher the longer a case goes on. In addition, if you are paying your lawyer hourly or you have entered into a hybrid contingency/hourly billing arrangement, your legal fees can skyrocket.

Many of our clients worry that mediation will result in a less favorable outcome than they would have obtained had they gone to trial. An aggressive and experienced mediator will put these fears to rest from the outset. It is important to keep in mind that there are significant emotional and financial costs of going to court, and the winner-takes-all nature of litigation can irreparably damage family relationships. In contrast, when the parties to a dispute engage in mediation, they often are able to come to an agreement that takes everyone's concerns into consideration. This often allows all parties to a dispute to feel that they have "won," whereas in litigation there is a clear "loser."

A top mediator in California, who spent a significant portion of her career as a trial judge, noted that she never saw the parties to a trial happy. Both litigation and appeals can be exhausting and may actually take a toll on your mental and physical health. As a result, it is always a good idea to determine whether mediation is an option before taking a case to court.

Sometimes, Litigation is Unavoidable

In some cases, the only way to resolve a dispute is through litigation. Perhaps the parties to the dispute are simply too far apart in what they want, or one party is refusing to concede anything in order to reach a resolution. If you have found yourself in this situation, it is critical that you retain an aggressive trust and estate attorney who has courtroom experience and is qualified to advocate on your behalf.

At Hackard Law, we are qualified to go up against any other legal team in the state. We have taken cases to trial in most of California's major urban areas, including San Diego, Alameda, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. When you retain us to represent you, you can rest assured that you have a legal team that will attempt to resolve a case out of court but who will not hesitate to litigate the matter, should it become necessary.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Trust and Estate Mediation Lawyer in California

If you are involved in a dispute related to a trust or will in which you have an interest, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as you can. In some cases, mediation may be the most effective way to resolve your dispute, so be sure to discuss an attorney who has obtained successful results through mediation in the past. In addition, because there is no guarantee that mediation will resolve your dispute, you should find an attorney qualified to take your case to court, should it become necessary.

The attorneys of Hackard Law have been representing people involved in disputed related to trusts and estates for more than 30 years, and we are committed to resolving every case we handle as favorably and efficiently as possible. We are skilled mediators and aggressive litigators who are committed to getting results. To schedule your free consultation with one of our California trust and estate mediation attorneys, call our office today at (916) 313-3030 from Santa Clara or (213) 357-5200 from Los Angeles (though we serve clients from everywhere in California) or send us an email through our online contact form.