Michigan- I'm contesting my father's will/trust. We are at the point of mediation. Can the personal representative of the

Asked over 1 year ago - Dearborn, MI

estate be the neutral mediator? If not what law states that?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would think that the mediator should be totally independent in a lawsuit.
    The beneficiaries and PR could have worked out a "deal" if it were possible without
    a lawsuit.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  2. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Several questions need to be answered before your question can be answered:

    a) has the will been admitted to probate and the personal representative appointed?
    b) if so, has the appeal period run?
    c) are you contesting a portion of the will or the whole will/trust?

    If the will has not been admitted to probate, then a neutral third party (not the personal representtive) should oversee any mediation. if the will has been admitted to probate, then the personal representative may be the only person who can help you and another beneficiary work out any problem with a distribution. In any event, you really need your own attorney to advise you in this matter. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor... more
  3. Peter L. Conway

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sounds like you are headed toward mediation with three mediators. If you don't have a lawyer, I recommend that you get one. If you do, listen to your lawyer.
    You have not provided enough information to allow someone to evaluate whether using the PR as the neutral is a good idea. You have also not provided information concerning the parameters governing the mediation.

    I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not... more
  4. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues, but I believe there may be more going on here than meets the eye. The PR is not disinterested, and the PR cannot decide if the Will/Trust is valid or not. Only a court can decide that. If the judge has ordered this to mediation, both sides really should have an attorney to effectively present their best arguments.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more

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