With a mediator

Would you like to arrange the estate with all parties involved under the supervision of a single lawyer-mediator? That is possible at Uiteen. This way you can make agreements between you.

What does a mediation process look like? 

 

STEP 1: Approach all parties

Approach all parties that should participate in the mediation process. If this doesn't work, then the mediator can help. An appointment will be made for an initial meeting.

STEP 2: Initial meeting

During the initial meeting we discuss the guidelines described in the mediation agreement. This way everyone knows where they stand. The spouses and the mediator sign the agreement. Then mediation can begin. We decide which topics to discuss and talk about urgent issues. Is there a solution ? 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

We collect and share relevant information, such as bank statements or a valuation report of a house.

STEP 5: Reaching agreements

The participants negotiate each problem that requires a solution. Then they reach agreements.

STEP 6: Confirming agreements

The mediator confirms the agreements in a settlement agreement. Once everyone agrees on the content, the participants sign the document. Then the agreements are executed. For example, the inheritance is settled and distributed as discussed during mediation.

The advantages of mediation in inheritance cases

We can hardly talk to each other; is mediation a suitable option for us? What happens if mediation fails? Are agreements made during mediation as valid as a court ruling?

Mediation has many advantages. For example, a mediation process is much shorter than court proceedings. Issues can typically be resolved with just three meetings, while court proceedings can drag on for years. Moreover, mediation is far less expensive. The spouses share the costs of the mediator. When going to court, each spouse must pay for their own lawyer. In addition, everyone pays the legal costs (known as court fees, or in Dutch: 'griffierechten'). Finally, mediation addresses the underlying problem. Sometimes a disagreement about money isn't about money at all, but about other problems within the family. Perhaps one of the children was always disadvantaged. Old (and new) pain often make proceedings complicated and lengthy. A judge spends little to no time on this, while a mediator does. Resolving the old pain means solving the problem (for good).

Mediation also works when the parties involved are not on speaking terms. The mediator discusses why communication is so difficult or impossible. The spouses work on their mutual communication.

So what happens if you can't work it out despite mediation? Then you can still hire a lawyer. The mediator may not serve as the lawyer for either spouse. Any agreements made during mediation and confirmed in a settlement will remain valid. This also applies when mediation stops before everything has been arranged. A mediation process is always valuable, even when terminated early. The information gathered can be used in the court proceedings. Moreover, the court often redirects the parties involved to mediation. This will not be done as quickly when mediation has already been attempted.

What needs to be arranged?

A consultation with all participants.

After a death, the estate must be settled. When there is a will, it tells you how to do this. In most cases, an executor is appointed, someone who can also be engaged during mediation. The heirs can arrange the inheritance in close consultation with the executor. Mediation works especially well when there is little cooperation between the executor and the heirs.

If there is no will, the estate must be settled by the heirs themselves. A mediator helps when the heirs are not seeing eye to eye. Furthermore, a mediator has relevant knowledge and expertise to ensure that no mistakes are made.

Tips

1. Consider each other's feelings. When a loved one dies, everyone is on edge and emotional. Try to avoid arguments. Do you feel yourself getting angry? Take a break. It is difficult to settle an estate when arguing.

2. Relationships between stepparents and stepchildren are complicated. As a surviving partner, a stepparent often gets everything for the time being. As a result, stepparents and stepchildren may be connected, while they may not want this. Discuss your options with our lawyer/mediator.

3. When a brother or sister has been appointed as executor, problems often arise. This brother or sister suddenly takes on a different position within the family. Avoid problems and quickly engage a mediator.

What can I prepare?

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

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