Third District Court of Appeals Opinion Serves as a Reminder to address crucial issues.
A candid discussion between counsel regarding settlement and mediation is generally a good idea at some point in any type of litigation, especially will and trust contests and similar probate issues. Since these cases are almost always inter-family case, settlement should be attempted to try to keep the family intact. A good settlement is usually a division of assets that neither side particularly likes, but with which both sides can live. It is generally a good idea to include at least a discussion of these items in any probate settlement agreement:
• A mutual release; • Determination of the validity of the will (if it is agreed that the will is invalid, then a prior will must be admitted to probate and the estate fiduciary must be appointed. If the will remains valid, the estate fiduciary can continue on and the estate may be completed sooner.); • Clear recitation of which party receives what specific assets; • A time certain for making the payments (if any); • What will happen to later-discovered assets (or expenses); and • Time and responsibility for filing documents to end lawsuit. Read the rest of this entry