Elder Law And Estate Planning Mediation In NJ And NY

elderly man and woman holding their two grandchildrenElder law is the area of law that deals with matters specific to the elderly. Elder Law is a broad area involving the issues that elderly and disabled persons tend to face. It includes counseling and dispute resolution concerning health and long-term care planning, identifying and accessing sources of financing for long-term medical care, nursing home issues, qualifying for Medicare, Medicaid and other public benefits, legal capacity, surrogate decision-making, estate planning and administration, including tax consequences, trust creation and administration, probate, retirement benefit disputes, estate and probate litigation, contested guardianships and elder mediation services.

An elder law attorney acts as an advocate for the elderly and their loved ones. A mediator, however, helps different individuals, with different opinions, come together to try to reach consensus. A skilled lawyer or mediator will be able to recognize issues such as neglect, abuse, exploitation claims, insurance issues, housing disputes, and employment matters. The mediator’s role is to help clients come up with solutions and/or plans to help ensure they are prepared for the future. As experienced mediators, tThe Berner Law & Mediation Group is equipt to handling such matters and will be there to mediate when disputes arise surrounding elder law and estate planning issues.

Estate Planning Mediation

Estate Planning is the process of arranging for how a person’s estate will be handled after they pass. This can be a challenging thing to put into writing and, all-too-often, the family wants to get involved, and a dispute arises. It is in this case, as mediators, we would help the family reach a satisfying agreement so that the attorney can then be in a position to draft the document reflecting the wishes of the family, where appropriate.

The 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. The goal of retaining a mediator in estate planning is to prevent future problems rather than to solve an existing dispute. If there is current conflict among family members, only mediation offers the probability of a solution that includes reconciliation.

The Role Of A Mediator During Estate Planning

A mediator recognizes the attorney’s lead role and will not question the advice given by them to their client. The mediator’s role is to assist attorneys in fulfilling their responsibility to design a plan that will accomplish the testamentary desires of the attorneys’ clients. The mediator confers, on a confidential basis, with each person separately, as needed, and with the parties jointly. Only information that is authorized to be disclosed by each person will be shared with others. The mediation process can provide attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors with valuable information about the clients’ subjective interests and needs that should be addressed in the estate plan being created.

The mediator then helps the parties face and solve important issues that otherwise would continue to fester because they were not disclosed to, and thus not addressed by, the lawyers. Mediation assists the attorneys in collecting all pieces of the family puzzle.

A mediator doesn’t have to be an expert in estate planning, but does need to be familiar with the basic principles and terminology. Expertise in the mediation process itself and the unique ability to talk with each person, makes the mediator a valuable member of the estate planning team. The mediator helps the parties bring conflicting interests to the surface and helps to resolve them. Through the help of a mediator, you should be able to address concerns before they become major issues and create an estate plan that works for you.

Can Mediators Give Advice?

Mediators do not give advice, but do give you plenty of information so that you can make the best decision for you, and your family. A mediator can also teach you how to communicate better, and teach you what you need to know about the law, but will not tell you what is best for you. That’s why mediation works so well–because you decide what is best for you and your family.

We help you every step of the way, and sometimes we will make a suggestion for an option you haven’t thought of, but we won’t tell you what to do. If you feel you need advice, your lawyer will be able to step in and help guide you.

Call Us Today

Our mediators specialize in facilitating the difficult communication process involved in estate planning between family members. We can help you avoid bitter litigation down the road when an estate needs to be settled.

In this new generation of blended families, step-siblings, and multiple marriages, estate planning has become increasingly complicated. By creating an estate plan through mediation, you will be able to work together with your family to design an estate plan that will minimize the chance of future family conflict while accomplishing all of your financial goals.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Berner Law & Mediation Group.

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New York

One Grand Central Place, Suite 4600
New York, NY 10165

New Jersey


Phone: 201-836-0777

One University Plaza,
Suite 214
Hackensack, NJ 07601

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