Elder/Adult disputes

Elder mediation, like elder law, is defined by the client to be served. Elder mediation is the mediation of any dispute that involves elders, the disabled, their families or others in their lives.

Elder disputes often possess traits that may make elder mediation a particularly attractive option for elders and their loved ones. For example, elder disputes routinely involve members of an immediate or extended family, who wish to maintain a long-term relationship. In spite of the current conflict, family members often recognize that litigation may lead to the destruction of close family relationships.  As a result, an alternative to litigation that may help resolve the conflict is particularly attractive.

In a recent article in the Washington Post by financial reporter Jane Bryan Quinn, May 24, 2009, Families, Finances And Dementia,   Quinn noted the following:

"It's a nightmare for families and their financial advisers: a parent or client with Alzheimer's and significant money to manage.

For gossip, New Yorkers are feasting on the trial of Anthony Marshall, the only child of philanthropist Brooke Astor. She died, demented, at 105. Marshall has pleaded not guilty to charges of manipulating his aged mother into changing her will so he'd get millions of dollars more."



"If your parent or client seems to be going downhill or gets a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, you should act quickly. Incapacity can come on surprisingly fast."





"In a functional family, everyone cooperates to keep a parent with Alzheimer's physically and financially safe. In a dysfunctional family, all bets are off. It's sad but true: Adult children and other relatives are those most likely to rip off a disabled parent."


When families spiral into conflict about what to do with their elder parent's financial affairs, health or living conditions, all of the family resources can be consumed in bitter litigation without getting to an appropriate solution for the elder parent. 

Mediation is the preferred first step for any family in dispute over these issues.  And finding the right mediator with the right legal, social, and negotiation skills is essential to finding the a creative and cost effective way of solving family problems.  

Few mediators have the combined experience in estate planning, probate, conservatorships, business, financial planning, social skills and elder care giving experience that Mr. Sankary has developed in over 40 years of legal and mediation practice in this specialty. 

Contact Mr. Sankary for a free consultation if your family is experiencing such conflict over the care of an elder relative.  




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