The only thing worse than a death in the family…
Brother suing brother or sister or mother is the most destructive and awful tragedy that can strike a family. A family can recover from terminal illness, substance abuse and infighting, but there is no coming back from family litigation.
How to Avoid Litigation within the Family
We require an “Alternative Dispute Resolution” agreement for all estate and business planning, called “Integrity Agreement”. If a problem arises the following steps are required to resolve the issue before action is taken against family members.
- Communication- “This happened and I don’t like it…”
- Negotiation- Involved parties are required to talk about and work out their differences.
- Mediation- An outside coach or counselor is brought in to help resolve the issue.
- Arbitration- A Private “trial” is held to formally resolve the conflict.
- Removal- In situations where a family member refuses to comply with or accept the decisions made in this process and insist on litigation, that family member is REMOVED from the estate as a Trustee and a beneficiary.
Is your attorney taking advantage of you?
If a litigators assert that these steps won’t work you can be sure that they are planning on exploiting you and your family for their own gain. Unfortunately, many litigators base their business model on exploiting the hurt feelings of grieving family members. Baiting family members into fights so they can get a bigger piece of the pie is a despicable practice, the agenda should be to smooth out hurt feelings and adopt a process to save the family.
If the family is destroyed, the assets are meaningless.