Does this scenario sound familiar?
Vivian is the primary caregiver for her 87-year-old mother, Fran. Vivian is nervous about her mother’s rapidly declining health condition, which includes forgetfulness, high risk for falling, and depression, among other things. Vivian’s two siblings are unable to help care for Fran due to geographical, financial and time constraints.
Fran and her late husband, John, own their 5-acre Westfield home, which holds cherished memories for the family. In his will, John stated he wishes for the property to be shared between the three siblings. However, Vivian’s brother wants his share of the property in cash. Vivian believes she should be the sole heir of the home, since she’s been the one living there and caring for their mother. This dispute has caused a strain on the family, and they want to reach a resolution prior to Fran’s passing.
How can we help?
The Applegate and Dillman Elder Law Mediation Center is unique because we specialize in elder-specific issues. Our Registered Mediators are all attorneys, experienced in common disputes such as financial decisions, guardianship issues, and will and trust contests. Our team has a specific skillset, focused on keeping the family unit intact and achieving the best resolution possible for all parties.
The decision to utilize mediation can come from the families, such as in Vivian’s situation. In these cases, prior to the mediation, the mediator communicates with each member and formulates a plan to bring the parties together. The role of the mediator is to serve as a neutral facilitator and help the family brainstorm new and creative solutions.
Other mediation cases come from attorneys and judges who want to give their clients the opportunity to achieve resolution outside of the courtroom, saving all parties time, money and emotional hardship. The mediator does not give legal advice, but guides that family in structuring their own solutions. Once all parties agree on a solution, the mediator presents this idea to the ordering attorney or judge, so matters may proceed.
Mediation is a holistic, decision-making process that ensures each person is heard. The Applegate and Dillman Elder Law Mediation Center provides a safe space to address disagreements, discuss all possible solutions and shape outcomes that consider everyone’s needs and align best for the elder.
Navigating life’s transitions can be hard. Especially if your loved one’s deteriorating health condition puts pressure on making a decision. Emotions are high, relationships are strained and getting everyone on the same page isn’t easy. These aren’t uncommon situations, but providing the best outcome for your loved one is a common goal. Mediation can help achieve this goal.