Sunday, February 8, 2009

Elder Mediation

The Center for Divorce Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. also specializes in Elder Mediation. Elder Mediation is a new approach to helping seniors and their adult children resolve life-cycle issues. We encourage families having trouble with elder issues to use mediation to reach a binding agreement resolving those issues, thereby strengthening the family. The family jointly hires a member of the Center to act not as a lawyer or counselor for either, but as a mediator. During a series of meetings the family works with the mediator to identify their issues and work out a mutually satisfactory plan to address them, including exchange of information and whatever sharing of responsibility they consider best for them. Each family member is free to consult with a lawyer or other advisor at any time, but the family members are encouraged to consult with a neutral financial planner or other expert, rather than hiring dueling experts. The process is designed to help the family, with the assistance of the mediator, approach their dispute as a problem to be solved through brainstorming by all participants.
Typical issues addressed are: the selection of care giver for the elderly parent; inheritance or estate planning issues; financial decisions such as who will manage the finances for the elderly parent; the wish for an elderly parent to continue driving despite multiple auto accidents; residence issues, medical treatment decisions, and guardianship/conservator issues.
Once an agreement is reached, the Center will write a draft of a Mediation Agreement for each member of the family to review with his or her legal advisor before signing the Agreement.
Elder Mediation works only if the family is willing to make a good faith effort to reach agreement. There is no legal obligation to agree. Any commitment to mediation and to make the resulting agreement work comes voluntarily from the family.
The process of negotiating and writing a legal agreement can strengthen a family. A stressful, destructive pattern of unresolved conflict can be transformed into supportive, creative problem solving of difficult life-cycle issues through mediation.

Read further about Elder Mediation in an article in Lawyer’s USA at

As always, you can post any comment about this blog, Divorce Mediation, or Tucson Arizona by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. You can get more information at our web site at WM 2/8/09

No comments: