Many probate disputes can be resolved using alternative dispute resolution or "ADR." You can use ADR to resolve:
- Estate distribution cases with many parties
- Will contests
- Trust disputes
- Conservatorship conflicts
- The relevant local rule is Division IV, Probate Dept., 4.1 (D)
ADR is usually faster, cheaper and less stressful than taking a case to trial. ADR also lets you resolve your disputes in a more private environment.
The Multi-Option ADR Project ("MAP") has prepared this Probate ADR Panelist List of mediators, arbitrators and neutral evaluators to help you with your case. The list gives you contact information and hourly fees for each panelist. A list of all probate panelists by area of subject matter expertise is also available.
You and the other parties can use this list to select an experienced, trained ADR neutral. After you and the other parties chose an ADR neutral then you schedule a session directly with the neutral's office. Please tell your ADR neutral this is a San Mateo County MAP referral.
You can also choose an ADR neutral who is not on this list as long as all the parties agree to the same person.
You and the other parties will pay the costs and fees for ADR directly to the neutral. Usually, the parties split the fees.
If you don't have enough money to pay the fees, ask the ADR Program Coordinator if you are eligible for financial aid through the MAP program. If you want financial aid, you must apply first - before you select your ADR Provider.
After selecting your ADR provider, you have 21 days to fill out and file the Probate Stipulation and Order To ADR form. This lets the court know about the ADR provider you selected and the date of your first session.
Within 10 days of completing ADR, you and your lawyer (if you have one) must fill out a Probate Client Evaluation form and an Probate Evaluation by Attorney Form and send or fax the forms to the MAP offices (fax # 650-599-1754).
If you have questions about ADR or the providers on this list, please contact: Civil & Probate ADR Program Coordinator at (650) 261-5075 or (650) 261-5076.