Collaborative Trusts and Estates Solutions

What is Collaborative Practice?

Find Peace of Mind the Collaborative Practice Way

Receiving an inheritance often brings out the worst in family members. The death of a loved one can reawaken old jealousies and resentments, which may have been festering for years.

Suddenly, people are at each other’s throats, ruining extended family relationships as well as their own. In some cases, those relationships can never be repaired.


Common reasons for disputes over estate plans include:

  • Hurt feelings over an unequal division of assets among heirs
  • Feeling pushed aside by second (or more) marriages
  • Disappointments over decisions in an estate plan
  • Confusion over what mom or dad “really meant”
  • Surprises no one knew about in wills or trusts

Heirs may believe they have a “right” to an inheritance. While many people leave their assets to their heirs equally, there are many good reasons this may not happen. When those reasons are discussed in advance, heirs are much more likely to accept your decisions when they understand them, even if they do not agree with them.

The Collaborative Practice approach to Estate Planning takes the same professional team model with a highly successful record for respectful, no-court divorce, and applies it to preparing wills and trusts.

Collaborative Practice is an alternative dispute resolution model similar to mediation. It is designed to help a family avoid stressful and costly litigation, helping control the outcomes and finding solutions with non-biased professional support. This respectful process creates dialogue and understanding, preserves family relationships, and lowers costs, while avoiding the damage done by emotional conflict and adversarial courtroom drama.

Collaborative Practice works just as effectively with estate planning as it does with divorce. Collaborative professionals work with the family to set up estate plans. There are no surprises or shocks. Disputes are aired and resolved in advance to everyone’s satisfaction.

The result: individuals and families who enjoy more satisfying, connected and fruitful lives going forward. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

The Collaborative Process

  • Defuses conflict among your family members and heirs
  • Preserves privacy by preventing a public court battle
  • Conserves assets instead of wasting them on litigation and lawyers
  • Builds better family relationships by resolving disputes together

Why Collaborative Practice Works in Estate Planning

  • The Collaborative approach helps preserve family relationships and resolve conflicts, even in intense situations. A party receives maximum support from well-trained legal, financial, and mental health professionals who agree along with the party in writing to avoid litigation.
  • Respect, communication and transparency are key elements. Everyone works together, instead of being at odds. No material information is withheld and there are no secrets.
  • Collaborative Practice provides real-world solutions, where the clients remain in control. The clients protect the things that are important to them, while maintaining a priority on their family relationships. Individual needs are respected while rights are preserved.
  • Collaborative Practice can assist a client in exploring and creating effective solutions that address your interests. A client will actively participate in crafting solutions, which helps defuse the fear, anger and resentment people often feel when life-altering decisions are completely out of their hands.
  • Collaborative Practice is recognized by law and by the courts in California, in the United States, and internationally.