Wills; Partitioning of Property; Intra-family Mediation
Four adult siblings had jointly inherited several thousand acres of timberland spread among some fifteen different locations, and they had differing ideas concerning the harvesting of the timber, the development of various parcels, the sale of certain mining rights, and other issues regarding the appropriate disposition of the assets of the estate. One of the sisters retained the Firm to represent her interests and to obtain her separate title and equal share of the total estate. A lawsuit to divide the properties would have resulted in unwanted publicity for the family and the public airing of confidential financial matters. After considerable discussion regarding various options available, the family was persuaded to attempt mediation in order to avoid a public proceeding. Although multiple mediation sessions were required due to the extent of the holdings and the number of parties involved, all the parcels were partitioned among the heirs to their satisfaction.