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Collaborative in Probate

Estate planning attorneys and tax counsel are usually not litigators. One thing their clients all want and plan for is avoidance of conflicts and lawsuits at death. Continuity of businesses and lifestyles, and minimization of taxes are other key planning factors. A major concern is preservation of family relationships. Many clients want to avoid their estate being involved in court. The successful marketing of the living trust nationwide has focused on the idea of avoiding probate-which is not even necessarily an adversarial process. Estate planning counsel have responded by making living trusts a core planning device-avoid probate, avoid litigation. However, the conflicts that previously arose in probate estates now are reappearing in probate court as trust litigations.

Estate planning attorneys can offer Collaborative Practice as another tool to mitigate or avoid post-death litigation. They can discuss Collaborative Practice with clients, and produce testamentary documents which require or encourage Collaborative Practice to resolve any disputes, perhaps with a tie-in to "no contest" clauses as added incentives.

For more information, click here or see the website of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.