WHY MEDIATE INSTEAD OF LITIGATE?

If your or your family are having a conflict relating to the care of an elder, planning for an elder, incapacity of an elder, or due to the death of a love one, consider mediation.

You know your family did not intend to leave a legacy of fighting and irreparably damaged family relationships!  Nor did they intend to have all their hard earned money given to lawyers for fighting instead of given to loved one for building future generations.  Think carefully before filing a lawsuit and instead try to work it out without court.

Benefits of Mediation include – Court records are public documents.  Mediation agreements are private documents.  Court costs can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Mediation is pennies on the dollar compared to court costs.  Lawsuits can take years to resolve and put to rest.  Mediation can be resolved in days, weeks, or months.

At the Law Offices of Naomi T. Stal, the process for mediation begins after a date has been set for the first mediation session.

Step 1: Parties complete all necessary paperwork requested by mediator prior to first meeting.

Step 2: Show up to mediation with all prepared documentation plus copies of all prepared documentation, and if necessary, all evidence to support documentation, and don’t forget your attorney, loved one, or support person.

Step 3: Continue to complete paperwork as requested and show up to mediation dates as set.  Do “homework” or research in between sessions and don’t expect to speak with the mediator without the other party being included in email threads.

Step 4: Mediator captures all agreement in writing and parties review it with their attorneys or trusted advisor before signing.

Step 5: Parties sign an agreement relating to the disputes discussed in mediation.

Step 6: Parties may file paperwork if necessary, or provide to their attorneys when applicable.

The mediation process differs depending on a variety of factors including: subject matter, involvement of courts, involvement of lawyers, and personal style of mediator.  However, when an agreement is reached, one universal result- saving a lot of money, avoiding a lot of stress, and honoring the legacy of a deceased love one by working things out.

The Mediation session itself has stages.  There is private mediation and court mediation.  Hiring our firm would be private mediation.  You can expect to begin the session with an opening statement from the mediator, then parties move into conversation about their needs and their concerns (that is usually the stage where people argue if they are not getting along or where the lawyers “speak for them” if they don’t to have direct communication). After that time, the mediator helps parties generate and create solutions that have everyone’s needs and concerns in mind.  Sometimes we sit in separate rooms while other times we sit around and have heated conversation and what feels like chaos becomes clarity.  Sounds impossible but you would be surprised how well the process works if you commit to it.

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Any form of mediation relating to transitioning assets, power, control, or responsibilities can be mediated to avoid litigation down the road.

Some examples include:

• Retirement disputes
• Elder care disputes amongst family members
• End of life agreement
• Estate planning conflicts
• Nursing home/assisted living disputes
• Conservatorship disputes
• Guardianship disputes relating
• Business succession disputes between parent and children
• Buy-sell agreements for business succession

Mediated Topics amongst families after a person dies includes:

• Beneficiary disagreement over decedent’s division of assets
• Someone claiming they were “left out” of inheritance
• Claim of conflict of interest as trustee or executor or fiduciary
• Beneficiaries sharing an asset that is not conducive for sharing (i.e. a house)
• Claims of undue influence
• Claims of incapacity
• Claims adult children have against each other
• Claims adult children have against a second wife/husband that’s the surviving spouse
• Trust or Probate administration disputes

Mediation is a sensible alternative, private, cost effective, time efficient alternative to litigation when families, relationships, and intense emotions are involved.
We believe you don’t have to bankrupt your family to resolve serious conflicts. Spending all your inheritance on lawyers creates a win-lose situation. Choose win-win.
If you are experiencing a conflict relating to any of these areas, contact us to see if we can help.
If you are creating an estate plan, consider including a mediation clause in your estate plan. Contact us for a free mediation clause you can use with your attorney or planning professional for your estate plan and force your loved ones to work things out together!

Don’t feel overwhelmed, with our FREE worksheet, you will be able to start yourself and your family on the road to a clearer more secure future.