Estate and Medicaid planning is an act of love. It allows you to pass your values on to your loved ones and manage and preserve your assets for their benefit. In the event of your incapacitation or death, this also lets you designate in advance those individuals who will assist you or manage and preserve your assets on your behalf.
I can help advance this act of love by assisting the potential Medicaid recipient to prepare and submit their Medicaid application. In addition, I develop Estate Plans for individuals and families which typically includes the following documents:
Because I am also a mediator should disputes arise, I will use my mediation skills to advance an equitable and fair resolution. Please see the mediation section for an overview.
Managing Divorce and Estate Disputes Through Mediation
Don’t Fight in Court: Mediate!
Why would I recommend mediation instead of going to court? According to studies, mediation results in a fair and reasonable settlement agreement that embodies the goals and needs of each participant. It is a voluntary process and is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to resolve disputes. Make sure that you are taking the right action for your case with my help.
Estate Planning/Elder Law Mediation
During mediation, I will assist participants in identifying issues and interests that they are most concerned about. I will also explain the known wishes of the loved one who is sick, incapacitated, or has died. My objective is to help participants understand and implement ways to mitigate conflict.
Where a loved one has died, I will use the information gathered from the mediation sessions to draft a proposed consent decree for submission to the probate court. Where a loved one is sick or incapacitated, I will draft the necessary estate planning documents for the identified client.
When a loved one is sick, incapacitated, or has died, and there was no prior estate planning, family members are faced with challenging issues. Some of the issues that may arise are the following:
- Who will be the caregiver for the loved one and how often?
- Where and for how long will the care be provided?
- Where will the loved one reside?
- Who should be the power of attorney for healthcare and non-healthcare-related matters?
- Should care be terminated? If yes, when?
- Who should decide to terminate care?
- Who will cover the cost of care?
When a loved one has died, and there is no will, challenging issues that typically arise include the following:
- Who will make the funeral arrangements?
- How should personal and real estate assets be divided among the loved one’s heirs?
- Who should coordinate and manage the preservation of the loved one’s personal and real property until a personal representative has been appointed by the court?
- Who will represent the loved one’s estate in probate court?
All these issues and more arise at a time of deep emotional distress. This heightens disagreements and causes individuals to retreat from compromise even when there is an agreement that compromise is the best course of action.
The mediation will help participants to identify their shared interests that also respect the known wishes of the loved one who has died. As a result, the administration of the estate before the probate court will not be contentious. Aside from this, costs associated with estate administration will be less, and family relationships will not suffer needlessly.
As your neutral mediator, I will assist both parties in identifying issues and interests that concern them the most. My goal is to help clients understand and develop options that will not only address their issues but also considers their best interests. In addition, I will assist you in developing proposals that will lead to informed and comprehensive agreements.
At the first mediation session, I will review the mediation process with both parties, obtain general financial and parenting information, and review the mediation contract with them. In addition, I will give both parties an overview of the separation/divorce process, explain office policies, and provide a specific list of the financial and legal documents that clients must provide before the next mediation session.
Subsequent mediation sessions may address, among other things:
- Child Custody/Support/Guardianship (if Applicable)
- Spousal Support (if Applicable)
- Division of Real Estate and Personal Property
- Health and Life Insurance Coverage
Our discussions during the mediation sessions will provide the information necessary to draft a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for both parties’ review and signature. The MOU will be used as a foundation for the drafting of the marital settlement agreement (MSA). Clients are advised to have the MOU and/or the MSA reviewed by their respective attorneys to ensure complete agreement with the terms.
Divorce mediation offers the opportunity and forum to directly discuss and understand its impact on you and your child's life. It serves as a platform to ensure the best interest of your child or children are put forward and learn how your finances might be affected.
Additionally, you can talk about issues relating to fairness surrounding the division of your property and, where applicable, cooperative parenting. Through this process, you avoid the costs, time, and emotional turmoil typically associated with responding to subpoenas, depositions, interrogatories, and multiple court appearances.
In short, mediation allows you to discuss, decide, and agree for yourselves while avoiding the time, stress, and costs associated with the protracted battles of traditional litigation. However, it does not prevent you from consulting with an attorney or other professionals.