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 3-9. Copyright © 2016 by the 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.
Mediation is a voluntary, informal, and confidential discussion in which a neutral facilitator assists two or more parties toward achieving a resolution of the conflict existing between them. As a conflict resolution tool, mediation serves a number of purposes, including providing parties the opportunity “to define and clarify issues, understand different perspectives, identify interests, explore and assess possible solutions, and reach mutually satisfactory agreements, when desired.”1