Estate planning and elder law is a wonderfully rewarding and fulfilling practice area. As an attorney, I am blessed to work with families who are not in crisis and are merely planning ahead for their families. To the extent that we are dealing with people who are in crisis, we are oftentimes able to assist with strategies that produce a positive result to the family that they are so happy and so relieved, that makes the relationship all the better. The hardest thing that I have had to watch during my career is families be ripped apart for numerous reasons.
We often joke that we’ve seen siblings fight over five dollars or that family members will kill each other over Grandma’s clock. While most times, we are joking and saying it in jest, the truth is families can often become divided over very basic and nominal things. Disputes can often arise when an elderly adult individual is receiving care in their home from another family member or when an individual dies and assets are being distributed pursuant to the Last will and Testament or other device.
The natural instinct for most people is to immediately call an attorney and litigate or fight over an issue; however, I truly believe that mediation can oftentimes not only save lots of money for the families involved but also is a pathway for the family relationship to remain intact. The job of a mediator is to lead all parties through a conversation to a mutual agreement that they have entered into on their own accord rather than a judge issuing a final order or decree. Oftentimes with an order or decree nobody feels like they got what they want and are always resentful and never happy with the result. We have referred numerous clients over the years to different local mediators, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
We have had numerous clients that have come back to us, thanked us for the referral to the local mediators because they were trained in conflict resolution and were able to dissolve or diffuse the emotions to get to the root of the problem. Litigation immediately puts people on opposite sides and often has an end ugly because people are fighting over the principle of the matter or they are digging their heals in just because they can.
We highly recommend that if you are in a family conflict, regardless of the root cause, that you contact a local mediator. If you do not know of one please feel free to contact our office and we can provide names of several in the area who are very good at their craft.
With the realization of the value of a mediator we have now also been able to eliminate the very few situations that would have ended very badly for the family and allowed them to come to a mutual agreement. We hope that this article provided another alternate to litigation and how conflicts can be resolved.
If you have any further questions or would like to get additional information, please reach out to our office at 717-845-5390 or check us out on the web at www.bellomoassociates.com.