Mediation is very well suited for contested disputes before the Probate Court involving the administration of estates and inheritance issues. Usually, parties involved in Probate Court cases have differences of opinion about the underlying facts and the distribution of an estate’s assets and property, including decisions involving the appointment and performance of the estate’s personal representative can cause conflict and disagreements.
In mediation, everyone has the chance to have their say in a setting in which people may speak freely in an effort to understand the other parties’ views in trying to resolve the matter. The overwhelming majority of contested matters in the Probate Court settle before trial.
All contested cases in South Carolina’s probate courts are eligible for mediation. The court may refer cases to mediation or parties may request mediation. Parties split fees and expenses for the mediation equally. Any party may ask the court to order the reimbursement of those fees from the estate if the mediation process “significantly benefited” the estate.