Reprinted with permission from Alexandra Carter, "An Introduction to Mediation for Estate Planners," in Mediation for Estate Planners: Managing Family Conflict (Susan N. Gary ed., 2016), at 9-20. Copyright © 2016 American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
I. Benefits and Challenges in the Estate Planning Context
Mediation can be used in any conflict where the parties are willing to enter into a discussion on the issues at hand, but it can be especially helpful as a conflict resolution tool in contexts like estate planning, dealing with family businesses, managing health-care issues, and elder law. In all of these situations, the parties involved are usually family members who have close relationships that will extend beyond the immediate time of decision-making. The chapters that follow describe the benefits and disadvantages of using mediation in these family-focused areas in more detail. As a background to the discussions that follow, this section covers a few benefits of mediation as well as the potential challenges of using mediation to resolve disputes involving family members, particularly when disputes involve the elderly.