Consultation

Consultation, also known as collaborative practice, is a new way of resolving disputes in inheritance cases.

 

What does such a consultation process look like?

 

STEP 1: Putting together a team

The team is formed. The participants appoint their own consultation lawyer. Multiple participants may be represented by the same lawyer. These participants – the children of the deceased, for example – share the same interests. If necessary, the lawyers discuss the need for a coach with the participants. The coach supervises the process and conversations. Often times, this coach is a psychologist. The lawyers prepare each conversation with their clients. The lawyers and the coach also discuss the case. Other experts may be required. Consider, for example, a financial advisor or a tax advisor. The need for additional expertise will be discussed with the ex-partners and appointed accordingly.

STEP 2: Initial meeting

During the initial meeting we discuss the rules of the game, so that they are clear for everyone. These guidelines are laid out in the participants agreement. The process begins after the agreement has been discussed and signed by the participants and the lawyers. As well as any coaches or other specialists involved. We decide which topics need to be discussed and look for a solution for urgent issues. We then make arrangements for how to work from here.

STEP 3: Working on communication

We work on mutual communication; what is actually the core problem? Is there old pain getting in the way that needs to be addressed?

STEP 4: Collecting information

Relevant data and information is collected and shared. This is necessary to continue with the process. Participants negotiate each problem that requires a solution. Then they reach agreements.

STEP 5: Reaching agreements

The lawyers confirm the agreements in a settlement agreement. Once everyone agrees on the content, the participants sign the agreement.

STEP 6: Executing agreements

The participants carry out the agreements, such as arranging the estate and distributing belongings as discussed.

The advantages

A consultation case or collaborative procedure can be initiated in the following circumstances:

1. Court proceedings are going to be difficult and lengthy. The case is complicated because the situation or the relationship is complex.

2. The relationship between partners is very tense. It is better that each has his or her own lawyer. The lawyers guides, coaches and supports their clients in finding a solution.

3. The parties involved have different knowledge or come from a different background. When, for example, one person knows all there is to know about the assets and the other knows very little. The lawyers ensure that everyone has access to the same knowledge. This is a difference between consultation separation and mediation. Mediation brings parties to the table without their own lawyers.

What can I do myself?

Request information from Uiteen regarding the consultation process. Read the information and the draft participant agreement. Inform everyone involved that you are considering a consultation process and send them the information. This way they can read up on what such a process entails. In the meantime, contact Martine Stut from Uiteen. Martine is the inheritance lawyer of our firm. She would be happy to provide you with more information. All those involved are welcome to contact her with any questions. She can also refer them to other suitable consultation lawyers.

Has someone close to you died? Try to find out if you are an heir. If there is a will, it will be specified there. This is how you can view a will:
1. Get a copy of the death certificate. This can be requested from the funeral home. Is that not possible? Then request the certificate from the municipality where the deceased lived when he or she died.
2. Inquire at the Central Register of Wills (in Dutch: Centraal Testamentenregister) if the deceased had registered a will.
3. Are there one or more wills? If so, then ask for a copy of the most recent will from the notary who drew it up. If the notary no longer exists, you can contact his successor. Consult the successor archive (in Dutch: opvolgersarchief) via the website www.notaris.nl. Some notaries will charge for a copy of a testament or part of one. Whether or not you are entitled to a copy depends on what is specified in the will.

Tips

1. Consider each other's feeling. When a loved one dies, everyone is emotional and sensitive. Try to avoid arguments. Do you feel yourself getting angry? Take a break. It will be difficult to arrange an inheritance while arguing.

2. Relationships between stepparents and stepchildren are complicated. A surviving partner, a stepparent, will often inherit everything for the time being. Because of this, the stepparents and stepchildren continue to have a connection that may last a long time. This may not be desirable. Discuss the options with our consultation attorney.

3. When a brother or sister has been appointed as executor, problems often arise. The position of this brother or sister within the family suddenly changes. Prevent such changes from becoming problematic and contact us early in the process.

What can I prepare?

Request the ‘Uiteen Inheritance Package’. For further information and tips about what you can prepare ahead of time.

Request information

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Contact?

You can reach Uiteen from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outside of office hours? Schedule a callback request

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