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Probate Articles

Reconsidering How to Honor a Father's Wishes

Nancy Shuger

This article illustrates how a mediator can assist parties to move from their positions to their underlying interests.

3 Reasons Why You Want to Mediate Guardianship Disputes

Lee Drizin

Settling the issue of who should take legal guardianship over a ward can be a long, drawn out, and tedious process.

Why Are You And Your Sibling Fighting Over Your Parent's House?

Kamela Laird

In this model, the lawyer-mental health professional duo creates a safe container for you and your sibling to communicate authentically about what really matters to you.

Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth

Jay Folberg

Of all of the cases I have mediated over the past 30 years, the most challenging and rewarding disputes have been those between family members over family property, estates, trusts and businesses.

Hospice and Conflict Resolution

Althea Halchuck

Conflict can touch anyone, at any time of life. In this article, I talk about end-of-life conflict, specifically those disputes related to hospice. I explore who is involved, why disputes arise, and reasons they are hard to resolve. I also speak about the importance of having a mediator as part of the hospice team.

Mediating Inheritance Disputes

Jeffrey Fink

Inheritance disputes can be difficult to resolve. They are tied up in a lifetime of emotions toward the deceased and every other claimant under the will, as well as personal and spousal expectations of monetary gain. Here are 10 tips and tricks that have helped with this kind of dispute.

Mediation Case Law Video: Divorce Agreement Complications

James Coben

In Guthrie v. Guthrie, the validity of a divorce agreement was called into question due to one party's state of mind at the signing. A complicating issue was husband's death during the proceedings.

Tipping Points - Reasons Why Mediation Works in Complex Family Disputes

Rikk Larsen

Timing is everything. In complex family disputes the simple fact is that mediation can be the forum for positive change, the tipping point, but it needs a number of preconditions to be successful.

Eldercare Mediation: A New Way To Make Decisions Regarding Aging Parents

Janet E. Mitchell

The article describes how families can work together in making collaborative decisions regarding the care of elderly parents. It defines and explains family mediation, noting the kinds of topics that can be discussed.

Mediating a Key Estate Settlement Issue - Dividing Personal Property

Rikk Larsen

Mediation with its “structural requirement” that parties focus on and value the dynamics of their relationships and interests before grabbing at specific options can be a powerful process tool for families struggling with difficult personal property distribution issues.

Mediation in Estate Planning: A Strategy for Everyone’s Benefit

David Gage, John Gromala

How much better would this world be if we all believed that most disputes could be avoided? Mediation is offered as a tool to reach agreement, but the hard work of mediating a dispute requires a knowledgeable, experienced professional. These authors offer observations and strategies based on their expertise and successes in the field.

Mediation in Today's Estate Settlement World

Rikk Larsen

The estate settlement process has many areas of potential conflict that mediation can often handle far more effectively than ad hoc family negotiations and traditional legal proceedings. Why is mediation effective in this complex emotional field and what can we do to promote its use more broadly.

Mediation of Guardianship and Elder Law Cases

Robert Grey

Mediation provides an ideal opportunity for the parties to air their differences, feelings, opinions, perceived slights, etc., giving the parties the opportunity to hear, consider and respond to each others’ perspectives and possibly change their own position accordingly. This could result in a measurable reduction in the inefficient use of court resources.

Estate Planning and Family Business Mediation

Laura Bachle

Unlike J.R. Ewing in Dallas, controversy arises among families and business owners more often as a result of misunderstanding than malevolent motives. When people get beyond the resistance and begin working together on an estate plan MOU or partnership charter, they discover that openly dealing with issues lessens the likelihood of misperception, builds trust and confidence, and improves their chances for long-term success.

Trustee - Beneficiary Mediation

John A. Gromala & David F. Gage

Mediators can provide a critical service to both trustees and beneficiaries. Being independent, with no stake in the outcome, they can meet with the parties together and separately to help them focus on a search for a solution that meets the needs of all.

The Use of Mediation in Estate Planning: A Preemptive Strike Against Potential Litigation

John Gromala

Use of an independent mediator during the planning process can help estate planners improve client satisfaction, reduce the probability of family litigation and avoid malpractice claims.

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