Mediation can be useful in any conflict where the parties are willing to enter into a good faith discussion to resolve their dispute. A contested guardianship petition is just one area of Elder Law where mediation is valuable. If interested persons believe an already-appointed guardian is not acting in the best interests of the ward the court might utilize mediation to have the parties themselves resolve the allegation before it rises to the level of litigation. Mediation can be beneficial in other areas of Elder Law as well. For example, a client goes to an attorney for preparation of advance directives and/or estate planning in which he or she is going to disinherit or treat some of his or her heirs in a substantially unequal manor, such that it is likely there will be litigation down the road over the documents the attorney is about to draft. The attorney can be proactive and advise the client that investing a relatively small amount of time and money now in mediation may save substantial time and money later by helping prevent litigation and providing a greater degree of certainty that the client’s desires will be implemented as planned without costly challenge. Grandparent Rights, increasingly the subject of intense litigation, is another area of Elder Law in which mediation can certainly play a large role.
Continue reading…Mediation of Guardianship and Elder Law Cases by Robert Grey