Conflict is inevitable when living amongst others. As family dynamics change, opinions will differ on how to best care for aging parents, on what to do with the family assets/business/farm, and how to resolve absent or poorly written estate plans. Every family comes with a unique set of values and variables. Mediation may be the most cost-effective and productive way of ensuring the parties can self-determine the options and create a plan to move forward.
We work with people in varied circumstances – your situation may be a perfect match for mediation. The role of a mediator is to act as a neutral 3rd party. The mediator helps the parties dialogue about their interests, needs, issues and concerns. Additionally, they look for opportunities to help those involved problem solve and put together a plan of action. The situations below are a sampling of what types of disputes our team can assist with regarding aging concerns.
Situations Where Mediation Can Help:
- Three adult siblings cannot agree on a care plan for their aging mother – each one has an opinion of what is best. Their mother doesn’t want them arguing over her and it upsets her when she knows she is the reason for the rift.
- An adult child is providing care in their home for her aging father. The rest of the family appreciates the caregiver’s role, but each sibling has different ideas as to compensation for the caregiver.
- A 66-year-old man passed away and had a Last Will & Testament. There are a few items in the Will that are unclear and the heirs disagree on the interpretation and how to resolve the dispute. No one wants to go to Court and make their dispute a public matter.
- A trust set up by the parents of an adult child provides for payments to be made for the child’s health, education, maintenance and support (reasonable living expenses). The adult child complains that the trustee is wrongfully denying him payments for things he wants/needs.
- A brother and sister are processing the death of both parents and addressing the estate. An antique clock that dates back to the 1890s has been in the family for generations. Each child believes the clock is priceless and believes they should keep the clock. Neither wants to sell it, but the disagreement is causing tension in the family.
- What happens to the family farm? A mom and dad spent their lives building a successful farm. They had 4 children – one child has worked the farm with the dad for the last ten years and currently leases most of the land for his own cattle operation. The farmer brother thinks he should get the land outright, or at least with a substantial discount but the other siblings want their fair share of the farm.