Elder mediation, also known as Adult Family Member Mediation, provides a sensible forum for family decision-making. Seniors facing major life transitions and their adult family members have much to consider. Conflict among adult children over issues such as residence options, dividing caregiver responsibilities, safety and health concerns, estate planning details, and what to do with assets such as real estate, oftentimes lead to stressful conflict.
Sadly, such conflict may divide a family for many years, further complicating the challenges of caring for aging relatives. Resorting to the courts and an adversarial process is expensive and involves airing personal family details in a public forum.
What is Elder Mediation?
Like other forms of mediation, elder mediation provides a private and confidential setting for problem-solving. In this voluntary and cooperative process, our skilled mediator will facilitate a dialogue among family members so all parties are able to voice their interests and concerns in an effort to resolve conflict and formulate a workable plan for the days ahead.
Meetings are informal, but the mediator carefully guides the conversations and provides an atmosphere conducive to helpful discussions. Sessions may be are conducted at our office or in other locations, so long as it is safe to do so. Remote sessions are also an option. As a neutral, a mediator does not take sides or force a resolution upon any participants.
Benefits of Elder and Adult Family Mediation
- Mediation allows creative problem solving.
- Unlike litigation, mediation is not a win-lose.
- Strained relationships usually deteriorate further in an adversarial forum; mediation can help repair family relationships.
- When parties are not part of finding a solution, then decisions imposed by the court are less likely to provide lasting solutions.
- Mediation allows family members more control of the process and the outcome.
- Efficient process – saves money and time.
What types of conflict can elder mediation resolve?
- Disputes between adult siblings
- Medical Care
- Financial Decisions, including ongoing daily living expenses, medical care, housing, insurance, investments, and caregiving expenses.
- Location and category of residence.
- Selling the house vs. staying at home.
- Inheritance Disputes, including Will Contests.
- Guardianship, and post-guardianship decisions.
An important value of elder mediation is protecting the rights and integrity of seniors. Elder and adult family mediators are neutrals, but mediation is not appropriate if the mediator finds that there is coercion, abuse, or neglect present. If the elder suffers from cognitive impairment or other limitations impacting his or her ability to participate in decision-making, then an appropriate advocate for the senior must participate in all decisions that affect the senior.
Our experienced and thoughtful mediators are ready to help you. For more information about our elder and adult family mediation services, please contact Next Phase Legal & Dispute Resolution LLC at (508) 359-4043. Our main office is located in Norfolk, Massachusetts; close to Westwood, Millis, and Walpole.