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Archived Content: Probate | Elder


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News Categories: Probate, Elder

3/11: Summit County Probate Court develops mediation program

When Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer took office in January 2013, she declared her intention to use mediation as one means of resolving disputes brought to her court. Judge Stormer developed a mediation program, and longtime Akron attorneys William Dowling and Douglas Godshall were appointed as court mediators. Concluding its first year of operation, the mediation program has proven to be a success, enabling the parties involved to resolve numerous disputes without the need for lengthy litigation and court trials. read


3/04: Older Americans' Breakups Are Causing A 'Graying' Divorce Trend

For baby boomers, divorce has almost become, like marriage, another rite of passage. The post-World War II generation is setting new records for divorce: Americans over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were 20 years ago. But just because it's more common, doesn't mean it's not still painful. read


10/01: 'Til Age 50 Do Us Part: Divorce Commonplace Among Baby Boomers

These days, marriage is more of a long-term lease than a forever sentiment. That’s because according to the latest reports on divorce statistics, more Americans age 50 and up are divorced than widowed – and that’s the first time since 1990. A recent article published at The New York Times tells us that divorce rates among those 50 and older has grown in the last fifty years from 2.8 percent to 15.4 percent. read


9/23: Rinehart Allowed Mediation After Arbitration Bid Rejected

Gina Rinehart, after failing to persuade an Australian judge to have a family dispute over a multibillion-dollar trust resolved by an arbitrator, won her bid for a final mediation attempt. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin in Sydney today dismissed Rinehart’s bid to stop the trial and refer the dispute to arbitration. Bergin granted Rinehart’s request for mediation, to be held before Sept. 26, and if the dispute isn’t resolved the judge scheduled a five-day trial to start Oct. 8, a week later than originally planned. read


9/06: Increasing Enforceability Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In Wills And Trusts

A hot issue percolating among the states is whether a clause in a will or trust requiring alternative dispute resolution — usually arbitration — should be enforced by the courts. While initially courts appeared to frown on such provisions, the trend has shifted recently, particularly with a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court upholding such a clause. read


7/30: More winning financial support from children through mediation

More parents are resorting to mediation to get financial assistance from their children. Last year, 303 cases were handled by the Office of the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents, which arranges for the mediation, up 13 per cent from 269 in 2010. read


6/26: Elder Mediation: Where to turn when family meetings become fights

Making care decisions for elders is often a long-term process requiring a series of discussions. Getting everyone to the table ensures the family is 95 percent of the way to a solution. Mediators can support families in avoiding unproductive fights and creating workable solutions to parents’ care needs. read


5/29: WISE & Healthy Aging Launch New Elder Care Mediation Service

A valuable new service called Elder Care Mediation has just become available at WISE & Healthy Aging, thanks to a collaboration between the Santa Monica-based non-profit social service agency for seniors and the non-profit Center for Civic Mediation of Los Angeles. read


5/23: GiveForward partners with Medical Bill Mediation to help families reduce high medical bills

GiveForward, a crowdfunding leader helping families and friends raise money for a loved one's medical bills, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Medical Bill Mediation of the Karis Group, Inc., a service which helps patients consolidate and reduce their healthcare bills. This alliance stems from both organizations' shared mission of empowering patients to face the rising cost of healthcare in America. read


5/20: State Supreme Court Mandates Arbitration in Nursing Home Death Case

The Florida Supreme Court recently made it more difficult for the families of wrongful death victims to have their cases heard in court. In February, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a mandatory arbitration agreement signed by an elderly nursing home patient extended to, and was binding on, his estate and heirs. Many states refuse to enforce binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, as they can be unconscionably biased in favor of the nursing home, but the justices refused to make such a declaration in this case. read


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What's New



Halee Burg
Mediation Can Help Bridge the Family Divide Created by an Alzheimer's Diagnosis (4/04/14)
Halee Burg
Mediation can support families as they navigate the challenging issues and decisions associated with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Through productive discussions led by an experienced neutral mediator, mediators help family members explore each topic, share perspectives, gather information, reach consensus, and find their way forward.

Rachel Virk
I'm Heading for Divorce--What Should I Do? (3/21/14)
Rachel Virk
You want out. Your marriage is no longer happy. You just need to know the correct process for telling your spouse in a safe and respectful way, and know what are the appropriate steps to take.   2 Comments

Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Elder Divorce Mediation (1/17/14)
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
As the remaining baby boomers turn 50 this year, we continue to see a significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in that 50-plus age bracket.

Halee Burg
To Move or Not To Move an Elder (12/06/13)
Halee Burg
This article concerns the important decisions that often face caregivers or other family members concerning where an elder family member will live, the strong emotions that are evoked in families contemplating a possible elder move, the important questions that should be considered in considering a move, and how mediation can support families in having a productive discussion concerning this important, complex and highly emotional issue.

Denise Tamir
The Gray Divorce (5/25/13)
Denise Tamir
Though the fact that divorce has become more common and less of a stigma has some impact, that does not explain why the gray divorce rate is climbing while the general divorce rate is going down. Denise Tamir suggests a few contributing factors.   3 Comments

James Coben
Mediation Case Law Video: Divorce Agreement Complications (4/25/13)
James Coben
In Guthrie v. Guthrie, the validity of a divorce agreement was called into question due to one party's state of mind at the signing. A complicating issue was husband's death during the proceedings.

Patricia Porter
AudioBlog: Transforming Difficult Decision Making In Elder Care Planning (4/22/13)
Patricia Porter
Families today are assuming responsibility for the informal care of over 75 percent of elderly family members and are often faced with difficult decisions from a bewildering array of choices: e.g. estate planning, financial issues, and guardianship. In the best of circumstances, this can be a stressful process and sometimes leads to disagreements, confusion, and conflict at a time when the best intentions of the family are to work together for the needs of a loved and respected aging family member.

Richard Birke
Signing Arbitration Contracts on Admission to a Nursing Home – Who Is Bound? (4/08/13)
Richard Birke
As our population ages, more and more people are being admitted to nursing homes at or near the end of their lives. But when a person is admitted to a nursing home and they sign a contract agreeing to arbitrate any disputes arising out of the care they receive, should their heirs and the estate be bound by that contract?

Patricia Porter
AudioBlog: Elder Mediation: Family Disputes Over Caregiving (3/29/13)
Patricia Porter
When families are faced with the long-term care arrangements for their aging parents and relatives, feelings of resentment, anger and jealousy that have festered since childhood often create new problems as families learn to cope and prepare for the road ahead. Instead of working together, families can get stuck placing blame.

Dick Price
Facing a Divorce Later in Life? (3/29/13)
Dick Price
It has become noticeable that Baby Boomers and even older people are starting to experience a significant number of divorces. Couples married for 20 to 40 years are getting divorced.


A Survey of Public Awareness of Elder Mediation In Northeast and Central Ohio (2/15/13)
John Bertschler, Patricia Bertschler
As private practitioners in the field of mediation over the past fifteen years, we have struggled along with our professional colleagues nationwide to increase public awareness of alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation. We have been gratified to see awareness grow due to the work of many individuals and professional advocacy groups, as evidenced by this survey.

JK Belz
Elder Mediation - Video (4/18/12)
JK Belz
Video where the owners of JK Belz Mediation and Crowley Legal Solutions discuss the mediation process. The owners also discuss their focus: elder mediation.

Justin Corbett
The State of Community Mediation (3/19/12)
Justin Corbett
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) has released its much-anticipated new report: The State of Community Mediation. This fieldwide assessment is the most comprehensive in nearly a decade, and includes many never-before reported statistics detailing the size, scope, and impact of the the community practice area.

Phyllis Pollack
What's Your Generation? (12/12/11)
Phyllis Pollack
The second issue of ADR Times Perspectives (Vol. 1, No. 2, Nov. 2011, hit my e-mail inbox the other day. Having enjoyed the first issue, I eagerly thumbed through this second issue and found an interesting article by Jasper Ozbirn entitled “Generational Gaps in the Workplace” (at pages 8-9.) According to its author, the purpose of this article is “. . .to provide the briefest of primers on how generational differences can play out in the workplace to create a conflict.” (Id.)

Stephanie West Allen
Respect Mediation? Love It? Prove It, Shove It, Move It: Mix Things Up, Break the Patterns (12/12/11)
Stephanie West Allen
Body posture influences quantitative estimates. We predicted that people would make smaller estimates while leaning slightly to the left than they would while leaning slightly to the right, and this prediction was borne out by our results.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
We Are Looking for One Good Town (4/25/11)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
What if your entire town made an official commitment to practicing legal wellness, for one year? Or for that matter, your entire company? Or your mission-based organization? Or your family?

Heather Scheiwe Kulp
Foreclosure Mediation Comes to Bankruptcy Court? (4/11/11)
Heather Scheiwe Kulp
The end of March marked the end of two madnesses: Connecticut’s journey to the championship and a foreclosure mitigation bill’s journey through the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the journey is over in only one court.

Victoria Pynchon
10,000 Boomers A Day Do Not Go Gently Into Retirement (1/03/11)
Victoria Pynchon
Even before the recession I was asking anyone within shouting distance just exactly what the country was going to do when the largely bankrupt baby boom became the largest impoverished retired class the country has ever known.

Jan Frankel Schau
Thinking Within The Box: Facilitated Dialogue Without The Need For Conflict (12/27/10)
Jan Frankel Schau
My parents, 82 years young, are beginning to recognize that they want the input of their adult children in managing their lives: business investments, tax and estate planning, cooking, driving, traveling. This morning we took advantage of the holiday week to all gather together for breakfast and a business-type meeting.

Jeff Thompson
Elder-Care Mediation Expands, Some Embarrassed To Admit It (12/27/10)
Jeff Thompson
I have been noticing more articles on elder-care mediation and found this one interesting and wanted to pass it along to everyone

David D. Stein
“Grey Divorce”: Make Sure It's Not “Grave” Mistake (9/13/10)
David D. Stein
Apparently there is a nationwide upswing in divorce amongst an older demographic. This phenomenon is being called “Grey Divorce”.

Jan Frankel Schau
Precious Life: Just Hold On (8/09/10)
Jan Frankel Schau
I had a challenging mediation last week when I was asked to mediate a Conservatorship of an elderly lady, whose two living children could not agree upon the appropriate care for her and could not bear to be in the same room together--leading to an awkward visitation schedule. As a consequence, neither son was "holding on" and both feared she would die alone.

Jeff Thompson
Elder Mediation (3/29/10)
Jeff Thompson
Not sure if anyone saw this in the Wall Street Journal, but recently there was an article in it on Elder Mediation in California.

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution ZZZZZ
ABA 2010 Mediation Video Contest Honorable Mention Videos (3/15/10)
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution announced the 2010 winners of its First Annual Mediation Video Contest. Honorable Mention was awarded to the following 3 videos: "Mediation: Everyone's a Winner!", "Elder Mediation: A Solution For Families at War", and "Mediation Works."

Oran Kaufman
The Benefits Of Facilitated Meetings In Guardianships And Conservatorships: A Case Study (3/08/10)
Oran Kaufman
I recently was involved in a case involving an elder with dementia that is a wonderful case study and a great example of the benefits of an early intervention/facilitated family meeting. The names and some of the facts have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Norman Pickell
Mediation For Seniors (1/05/10)
Norman Pickell
As seniors grow older, decisions often need to be made about where to live, should the senior continue to drive, how should financial affairs be managed and what kind of medical care is appropriate. These are tough emotional decisions often requiring difficult conversations within a family.

Jay Folberg
Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth (12/08/09)
Jay Folberg
Of all of the cases I have mediated over the past 30 years, the most challenging and rewarding disputes have been those between family members over family property, estates, trusts and businesses.   4 Comments

Victoria VanBuren
Nebraska Supreme Court Refuses to Compel Arbitration in Nursing Home Case (11/09/09)
Victoria VanBuren
The present case comes as the U.S. Congress considers the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2009. This Act would render pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts unenforceable.

Susan Curcio M.A.
Elder Mediation Matters: Probate, Guardianship and Family Care-giving (10/26/09)
Susan Curcio M.A.
Conflict associated with estate matters, adult guardianship and family care-giving can tear families apart. Present decisions regarding an aging family member can be influenced by past history. More families will be faced with difficult choices as the population ages in growing numbers. Elder Mediation offers the opportunity to avoid going through the court system which can be costly, time-consuming and divisive. A skilled Elder Mediator can help participants focus on the future and arrive at creative solutions.   2 Comments

James Coben
James Coben: Early Mentor Experience - Video (10/11/09)
James Coben
James Coben describes his early experiences dialoguing with his mentor, which he sees as a basic component to mediation.

Phyllis Pollack
The Big Picture (8/31/09)
Phyllis Pollack
In late May 2009, I flew back to my childhood home to help my siblings move our mother into an assisted living facility. As she had been living in the family home for close to sixty years, it was the move from *!!##*##!!*, to say the least.

Steve Mehta
Elderly At Increased Risk of Death From All Causes Because of Abuse and/Or Self Neglect (8/10/09)
Steve Mehta
For those of you that are involved in elder issues, like myself, I thought this information might be interesting. Elderly who are subjected to abuse or self-neglect are at an increased risk of premature death, according to a recent study.

Georgia Daniels
Elder Mediation (7/27/09)
Georgia Daniels
This article introduces Elder Mediation to potential consumers and referral sources. It uses an example of a typical conflict to show how the outcome could be different with mediation, and walks the reader through the usual stages of an elder mediation, using a facilitative model.   3 Comments

Tammy Lenski
Success Leaves Clues: A Profile Of Elder Decisions (6/22/09)
Tammy Lenski
“There is a great deal of opportunity to create a niche in your community once you have the training and if you are willing to put in the time to market your practice and develop the network of referrals you will need in order to grow,” say Arline Kardasis and Rikk Larsen of Elder Decisions, which scored a major marketing success with National Public Radio in April.

Steve Mehta
International Elder Abuse Awareness Day — Learning About Elder Abuse And Mediation (6/15/09)
Steve Mehta
Citizens throughout the world are wearing something purple Monday in support of World Elder Awareness Day. This day is designed to acknowledge the global issue of elder abuse and to combat that problem.

Susan Curcio M.A.
Care-Full Conversations: Elder Mediation And Family Decision-Making (5/18/09)
Susan Curcio M.A.
Elder Mediation is a tool that can be used to facilitate difficult decisions for aging adults and their families. Issues regarding the health and safety of a loved one may involve legal and financial considerations which can cause family tensions. The role of the mediator is to assist families in arriving at their own solutions while preserving or improving relationships among the members. Opening the channels of communication may make the job of an attorney or financial adviser easier and more cost-effective.


Addressing The Imbalance Of Power In Elder Mediation Cases (5/04/09)
John Bertschler, Patricia Bertschler
This chapter is devoted to the complex process of identifying where a power imbalance exists in mediation and dealing with those situations in a productive and compassionate fashion.   2 Comments


Simulation: Elder Mediation - Video (5/03/09)
Elder Mediation-a Solution for Families at War (3 minutes) looks at a typical family conflict over the care of an aging parent, and shows how a mediator can help bring disputing siblings together to work out a solution. This brief video illustrates how a court battle can be avoided through using mediation. A vulnerable senior's choices and quality of life are at stake in this volatile battle for control between his adult children.

Tammy Lenski
Elder Decisions Scores Major Marketing Success With NPR (4/13/09)
Tammy Lenski
The folks at Elder Decisions have scored another major P.R. success with today’s National Public Radio feature, Mediators Help Families with Tough Choices of Aging.

Debbie Reinberg
How Elder Mediators Differ from Other Eldercare Specialists (12/01/08)
Debbie Reinberg
The use of mediation in elder/adult family conflicts is still a rather new concept. Other eldercare professionals may seem threatened by the arrival of yet a new specialty group marketing to the same “boomer” population. There are certainly areas of overlap between elder mediators and elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers, and psychotherapists, yet there are also clear distinctions. And, there are many appropriate referrals to be made back and forth.   1 Comment

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