We have embraced a change of language from “elder and estate mediation” to intergenerational mediation. As families face conflicts between generations we hope this change will allow more families to access the relevant services available to them including:
- Sibling conflict about care for an aging parent.
- Grandparents conflict with adult grandchildren.
- The conflict between adult children and (maternal/paternal) aunt/uncle about the care of an aging parent.
- Sibling conflict about the care of (maternal/paternal) aunt/uncle.
Intergenerational Mediation (Elder and estate mediation) is becoming more popular for families that need to discuss issues affected by aging. Studies show that most families struggle to know how and when to discuss issues affected by aging. We help you and your family craft solutions to issues that need to be addressed. We encourage our clients to discuss these matters calmly and productively giving the voice back to how the older person sees the decisions affecting his/her future. If he/she enjoyed trips to watch the sunset at harvest time, how can the family respond to ensure these events continue? It is one thing to take away the driver’s license while still providing the outlet for families to ensure that these driving outings still occur.
Most families struggle to understand the estate plans that have been put in place. We help families discuss what to do when these issues emerge. For example, which of the blue family rings is being given to which daughter. As new relationships emerge it can seem like the estate plan becomes more complicated. We help you clarify and identify solutions to these issues.
Book a consultation to learn how this service meets your needs. This service can be done in person and online to meet the diverse situation that your family is facing. We are willing to meet with health care providers as a part of the network to ensure the best service to all who may be involved.
Download this resource for “Navigating Family Conflict As I Age“.
Here are some excerpts from a paper written in 2012 by Judy McCann-Beranger, M.A., CCFE, Cert.CFM, Cert.EM. Check out this link to the full paper.
Following is a sampling of the typical issues of aging that can be addressed in mediation. The potential for abuse or neglect is present within each of them.
- Health and medical care (at home, in the community, in the hospital, in continuing care and long-term care communities)
- Progressive dementias and other memory impairments
- Financial issues
- Guardianship issues
- Housing issues
- Living arrangements
- Intergenerational relationship issues
- New marriages and step-relative issues
- Religious issues
- Family business issues
- Driving issues
- Abuse, safety issues, self-neglect
- Legal issues (estate, inheritance, living will, power of attorney, etc.)
- End-of-life planning and decision-making
Intergenerational Mediation provides an opportunity for older people to talk frankly with family members about values they hold and risks they are or are not willing to take. The older person can acknowledge his or her needs for assistance during mediation without fearing that it will lead to a judge’s ruling of incapacity. If capacity is in question, intergenerational mediation is particularly effective in exploring the least restrictive forms of, or alternatives to, the appointment of a fiduciary. If an elder’s defense against a finding of incapacity is questionable, or a client’s support for a petition for appointment of a fiduciary is somewhat weak, mediation may provide more options than the usual hearing before a judge.
The mediation process can help improve, preserve, or even restore relationships. It can also provide a non-adversarial model of communication with which to approach future discussions. Mediation can provide elder law lawyers with a resource to deal effectively with underlying issues the legal system does not, e.g., intangible values, family history and dynamics, issues of autonomy and safety, interpersonal conflict, and quality-of-life choices.
With the help of the mediator, they learn new ways of talking with each other. Participants in the mediation identify topics they wish to discuss or issues they wish to resolve and work towards reaching agreements that attempt to promote their well-being and quality of life. Ideas for ways of helping are generated as people come together and talk about how they can move forward supporting each other, often through some very difficult times. Intergenerational mediation promotes communication and the involvement of more family members and others who wish to help.