The Importance of Family Dynamics
In the October 22, 2007 edition of the "Law Times", Bev Cline writes about the importance of family dynamics when considering an estate plan, and when dealing with estate disputes.
The article quotes Hull and Hull’s own Jordan Atin: "A will is usually the last thing that a parent says to his or her children…". As such, the document "creates a definitive, lasting record of the relationship between parent and child and among a child and his or her siblings. That reason alone explains why estate disputes are so hotly contested".
Jordan Atin states that in addition to addressing the mechanics of the estate plan, solicitors also need to address their client’s family dynamics. Lawyers should consider with their clients the emotional effects of the will may that arise after the testator passes away.
In the article, Sender Tator, a solicitor with Schnurr Kirsh Stephens, notes that in the context of litigation, “emotion often gets in the way of legal or practical realities; your client is often looking for a certain result, which legally may not be feasible".
The interplay of family dynamics and human emotion is one factor that makes estate litigation so interesting. (It is also a factor that often makes the practice so frustrating!)
One of the functions of a solicitor in estate litigation is to consider the role of family dynamics, and to see that it is identified and addressed. In addition, the solicitor should strive to ensure that the legal or practical realities are not overlooked, and that passion alone does not drive the litigation.
Thanks for reading, and happy Halloween.