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Mediation and Probate

Resolving a Dispute Out of Court

These questions address mediation in probate law.

Here, learn about mediation in probate cases, including how it can be used to resolve disputes about wills and the role of a mediator in facilitating an agreement between parties.

Can disputes about wills go into mediation?

Yes, disputes about wills can go to mediation. For example, if the children of a deceased person challenge a gift left to a survivor in a will, that scenario could go to mediation. Issues regarding wills and estates are generally settled in probate court. Still, mediation can be an alternative option if the other party is willing to negotiate or if the judge believes negotiation is possible.

Texas policy promotes the peaceful resolution of disputes to resolve pending litigation by using methods such as mediation and voluntary settlement procedures. See Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 154.002.

When might a judge order mediation in a probate case?

A judge may order mediation in a probate case if they believe negotiation is possible and may help resolve the dispute. This can be an alternative to proceeding in probate court.

How does mediation work in a probate case?

During a mediation, the mediator will talk to both sides to bring about an agreement that each party will agree with. There is a chance that this will not occur, and the proceedings will then occur in probate court. 

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