Regardless of the type of estate dispute you find yourself involved in, whichever legal resolution process you end up choosing (or whichever has been chosen for you) you will at some stage need to be prepared to negotiate with your family members in order to reach a settlement.

In our experience, achieving an appropriate, lasting agreement in an out-of-court settlement of a family will dispute or an estate dispute requires some ability to find common ground.

‘Common ground?’ you might be thinking. ‘Well, there goes that idea. My family can’t agree on anything!’

But what we mean by common ground is that there must be a commitment to a common goal.

Nuclear families, and sometimes close-knit blended families, often share a commitment to maintaining an ongoing relationship. Sometimes people say they are committed to keeping the family together, but when push comes to shove, their own interests and desires to rectify past injustices derail the settlement process. But where families are focused on keeping the family relationships intact, they are often more willing to see things from different perspectives, be flexible, come up with creative solutions and, ultimately, reach a compromise.

But family harmony is not the only common ground. While there are families who have no desire at all to keep relationships intact and who seemingly can’t agree on anything, we have witnessed even these families successfully reach agreement because they share a common goal – to stay out of court and minimise the legal costs so that the inheritance is not lost in the fight.

Your ability to negotiate a successful settlement will come down to finding this common ground within your family.

If you think you can find some common ground to give foundation to negotiating a peaceful resolution to your estate dispute then contact us by phone or email, or click here to arrange our complimentary 15 minute call to discuss how you can find some common ground between you and your family members.

We have tried to keep legal jargon to a minimum on this website and in our blogs, but we have included an easy to understand glossary to help you better understand the legal terms you might see along the way.

Zinta Harris

Meet Zinta

Founder and Principal of Resolve Estate Law. Accredited Specialist Business Law (Qld) and Accredited Specialist Succession Law (Qld). TEP Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

I am Zinta Harris. I live in Brisbane, Australia with my husband of 25 years, Craig (known by most as Harry) and our two children Teja and Zigi. I am a specialist wills and estates lawyer by day and inspiration seeker by night. I help Australian families navigate the legal fallout after the loss of a loved one in a calm and compassionate way.

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