You have met with the two children + have doubts as to whether they have genuinely displayed sufficient love + attention to their late Father.
Now you caucas with Therese. She is confident enough to meet you alone. Listening to the children, you had braced yourself to meet a young lady with an inheritance to protect but, in fact, is far from the first flush of youth She came late into the life of the Father and her career – with supporting documents – shows her to have obtained professional nursing + care qualifications in the Philippines/UK.
Her words may be self serving (you always have to query what you hear) but the picture takes shape of someone not so much Doing the Chasing as Being the Chased. She does have two children in Manila to whom she sends money monthly + she has been divorced for seven years. She was embarrassed by the Father’s attentions + deflected his advances but mutual affection developed + a relationship commenced despite the age gap.
The narrative is beginning to fall into place. What next? The Father did leave a sizeable estate. His two children – with family expenses at their highest – have told you they will contest the Will alleging undue influence – Therese’s best friend did witness the Will.
You can see a solution – with Therese agreeing to share her inheritance with the children. There will be a negotiation but you sense things will settle and your sensitive + diplomatic skills will bring about a mutually acceptable outcome.
But it could have been different. Therese may have been a fortune hunter willing to defend the Will. And the Children may have been willing to endure a media hoping for a “kiss+tell story from the “Lady from Manila”. As a mediator you have to be resourceful, intuitive, people sensitive + solution oriented. This time it all went well – but not always.
Tomorrow – 3 July 2012 – Arbitration
How to Prevent Lengthy Submissions
Heavy Hand or Light Touch