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Alternate dispute resolution ("ADR") has been on the rise as one of the primary ways to bring a dispute to resolution. Rather than spending significant time and money to litigate a case, the recent trend sees the increased use of ADR processes, such as mediation or arbitration, in the negotiation of a settlement outside of the courtroom.
Will challenges can involve a great deal of time and expense, many times to the detriment of the estate. There are multiple grounds upon which a will challenge may be based; however, the two most commonly pleaded are lack of testamentary capacity and allegations that the testator was subject to undue influence.
Have you ever wondered what steps are involved when you initiate a lawsuit? It's easy to picture a case going to trial before a judge or jury but before a trial can take place, there are many steps that need to be undertaken before a matter can proceed through the court system.
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It is often wise to do everything you can to avoid bringing these matters to court. Litigation is expensive and emotionally draining. Avoiding it through the use of alternate methods is recommended. Many of these disputes can be defused before they begin through communication.
Speaking of emails, most lawyers spend a lot of time reading lengthy email missives from their clients, and also multiple strings of nasty emails between client and his or her spouse, many of which will be producible for court. Hard to predict in advance whether you'll need to read a hundred emails or several thousand.
The modern family often incorporates second and third marriages, step-children, half-children and common law spouses. We often recommend to our clients that they create a 'global' estate plan, incorporating other agreements such as cohabitation agreements, marriage contracts and separation agreements. Having these documents well-synced to wills and powers of attorneys can go a long way in sorting things out when plans go awry.
When most people hear that someone has been "disinherited," they usually think of someone who has been written out of someone else's will. While this certainly is the classic definition of disinheritance, it is not the only way that a person can be excluded from an estate.
There has been a colossal breakdown of the Archie family business, and it sounds like something right out of the movies; egos, lawyers, yelling matches, sexual harassment claims, defamation lawsuits and restraining orders. This one has it all. It makes me think of different measures that friends and family members can take when entering into businesses ventures