Alternative dispute resolution methods are becoming quite popular in courtrooms these days. They help to free up the court’s time, reduce costs associated with legal issues and allow court cases to reach a resolution much more quickly. However, ADR is not usable in every court situation. It is only for civil law cases. It also has not yet reached the probate courts in Ohio, but according to the Ohio State Bar Association, the state Supreme Court is open to the idea of alternative dispute resolution methods being used in probate.

The idea behind introducing ADR into the probate process is to help when things go wrong. High conflict situations, such as arguing families, might benefit from this type of mediation more so than hashing things out in court. It also would free up the court’s time to move along other cases, which could make the probate process faster for everyone.

It would be a helpful tool in cases where the person is still living but unable to care for him or herself and unable to make his or her own decisions. Family arguments are not uncommon in these situations, so they could benefit greatly from ADR.

One of the reasons the court is looking into these alternative options is that there is an expected increase in probate cases in the near future as the baby boomer generation reaches senior age. With the courts already very busy, being able to put some cases into mediation or arbitration will help free up time to take on the increase in case numbers. This information is for education and is not legal advice.