If the likelihood of an estate dispute is high, consideration should be given to including an alternative dispute resolution clause (ADR) in the will and/or trust document. One possible form of ADR is mandatory arbitration, which is expressly authorized by Florida statute [click here]. An alternative to a mandatory arbitration clause approach is to include a clause in the document that encourages ADR generally and creates negative consequences for unduly litigious behavior. For example:
If there is a dispute or controversy of any nature involving the disposition or administration of this Trust, I direct the parties in dispute to submit the matter to mediation or some other method of alternative dispute resolution selected by them. If a party refuses to submit the matter to alternative dispute resolution, or if a party refuses to participate in good faith, I authorize the court having jurisdiction over the Trust to award costs and attorney’s fees from that party’s beneficial share or from other amounts payable to that party (including amounts payable to that party as compensation for service as fiduciary) as in chancery actions.