How Mediation Can Save a Family

Author

Bellomo & Associates

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Bellomo & Associates

Posted on

Oct 20, 2023

Book/Edition

Pennsylvania - South Central PA

Share This

Estate planning and elder law is a wonderfully rewarding and fulfilling practice area.  As an attorney, I am blessed to work with families who are not in crisis and are merely planning for their families.  To the extent that we are dealing with people who are in crisis, we are oftentimes able to assist with strategies that produce a positive result for the family that they are so happy and so relieved, which makes the relationship all the better.  The hardest thing I have had to watch during my career is that families are ripped apart for numerous reasons.  

We often joke that we've seen siblings fight over five dollars or that family members will kill each other over Grandma's clock.  While most times, we are joking and saying it in jest, the truth is families can often become divided over very basic and nominal things.  Disputes can often arise when an elderly adult individual is receiving care in their home from another family member or when an individual dies and assets are being distributed pursuant to the Last Will and Testament or another device. 

The instinct for most people is to immediately call an attorney and litigate or fight over an issue; however, I truly believe that mediation can oftentimes not only save lots of money for the families involved but also is a pathway for the family relationship to remain intact.  The job of a mediator is to lead all parties through a conversation to a mutual agreement that they have entered on their own accord rather than a judge issuing a final order or decree. Oftentimes with an order or decree, nobody feels like they got what they want and are always resentful and never happy with the result. We have referred numerous clients over the years to different local mediators, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.

We have had numerous clients who have come back to us and thanked us for the referral to the local mediators because they were trained in conflict resolution and were able to dissolve or diffuse the emotions to get to the root of the problem.  Litigation immediately puts people on opposite sides and often has an end ugly because people are fighting over the principle of the matter, or they are digging their heels in just because they can. 

We highly recommend that you contact a local mediator if you are in a family conflict, regardless of the root cause.  If you do not know of one, please feel free to contact our office and we can provide the names of several in the area who are very good at their craft.

With the realization of the value of a mediator, we have now also been able to eliminate the very few situations that would have ended very badly for the family and allowed them to come to a mutual agreement.  We hope that this article provides another alternative to litigation and how conflicts can be resolved. 

If you have any further questions or would like to get additional information, please reach out to our office at 717-220-3120 or check us out on the web at www.bellomoassociates.com. 

 

Other Articles You May Like

Family Involvement in Elder Law

As an estate planning and elder law attorney, I have seen a little bit of everything over the past 20 years. I am a big believer in having loved ones be part of the estate planning process to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous individuals whose objectives are to take advantage of their parents in one way or another. This does not change my opinion that estate planning and elder law are a team sport and that they should always include the financial advisor, the accountant, as well as the family. However, it is imperative that the professionals who are working with the individual stay vigilant and watch for signs of exploitation or abuse. Although it can often be very subtle, professionals usually have the skills and the tools to be able to see through it and bring attention to it. In an extreme case, a professional will contact the Area Agency on Aging and notify the Adult Protective Services division. They have authority under the Adult Protective Services Act to protect individuals in or around our community. However, that is definitely the exception to the rule, and in most cases, it is enough to have the family members leave the room and talk to the client alone to determine whether or not they are being unduly influenced or if they are speaking freely on their own. Most elderly individuals dont always realize what is occurring and therefore are not trying to hide it. They dont realize what is going on, so a trained professional can often ask the right questions to determine if something is not right. In the vast majority of cases, I do think that having family involvement in the elder law process is beneficial to everyone involved.

How Estate Planning Needs Change Throughout Your Life

Welcome to Legal Briefs, every month we will cover a topic of interest to our clients in one of our practice areas. First up Whats the big deal? Does everyone really need estate planning? The short answer is yes. Lets address why at a few key life stages.Young AdultsOnce you turn 18 years of age, you need a will and medical and financial powers of attorney (POA). Why? These documents allow for someone you trust to step in and help when needed. Emergencies and accidents happen. If you get sick or injured, a medical power of attorney can help with HIPAA, ensuring your trusted health care agent makes decisions with doctors and medical staff. Similarly, if you are unable to make financial decisions, a financial power of attorney names someone you trust to act on your behalf. A will names beneficiaries for assets and personal property and establishes your personal representative, who makes decisions regarding your estate if you pass away. At Stone Law we take the time to meet with you and help you ensure these basic estate planning building blocks meet your needs and wishes.Young Families  As you start a family its important to have a will naming guardians for minor children. This allows you to determine who will care for your children, instead of leaving this crucial decision up to a court or judge. As with any stage in life, its still wise to have medical and financial powers of attorney so decision making is easier if you are unable to act for yourself. Your spouse or significant other does not automatically have a right to makedecisions for you. Medical and financial powers of attorney are necessary to make sure the right people have authority to act on your behalf when needed. Stone Laws Young Family Plan is designed to fit easily into the chaos and busyness of your life at this stage.Older Families and AdultsAs you grow older your needs change. Estate planning should be updated every few years. As children grow, a more comprehensive estate plan can help protect your legacy for your adult children. Trusts change the way your assets and estate planning work. They allow flexibility across state lines, protection for blended families, and additional privacy. Depending on laws when your trust is signed, trusts can also plan for tax issues and concerns. Your situation is unique to you, at Stone Law we take the time to meet with you, working together to determine what kinds of planning best meet your needs and circumstances.Does it feel like theres no good time to sit down and discuss who you want in these roles when busy with work, parenting and life? You are not alone. Instead of avoiding a difficult conversation, give Stone Law a call at 877-897-6591 today. Allow us to work with you, whatever stage you are in, ensuring the process fits your busy life. Start your path to peace of mind today.

Effective Revocation of a Will: Ensuring a Smooth Transition

The question of how to properly revoke a Will necessitates careful consideration to ensure a seamless process. While the straightforward response is to shred both the original Will and all its copies, its crucial to bear in mind that the revocation should be accompanied by a replacement. Its unwise to assume that an outdated version of the document will remain accessible or that the original copy persists.My recommendation strongly leans toward promptly replacing the old Will with a new one and subsequently disposing of the original. Swiftly implementing the replacement will safeguard against potential complications. If you die without possessing the original Will to present to the Orphans Court, the Pennsylvania Intestate Law will come into play. This law essentially functions as the governments set of regulations dictating the distribution of your estate. While this blog post refrains from delving into the related intricacies, which we have covered extensively previously, it should serve to remind you of the existence of a governmental framework that will become involved, if necessary. In the absence of a valid Will, this framework gains authority, underscoring the necessity of having a well-structured Will in place at the time of your death. Upon confirming the preparation of a new Will to supplant the old one, you can confidently destroy the originals of the outdated document, secure in the knowledge that the new documents provisions will take precedence. We advise refraining from annotating documents with handwritten notes. It is advisable to preserve the new original that you intend to present to the Court in its pristine, unaltered state, mirroring its condition when initially drafted. This practice ensures the documents authenticity and reinforces its legitimacy in legal proceedings.  

Local Services By This Author

Bellomo & Associates

Estate Planning 3198 E Market St, York, Pennsylvania, 17402

We Educate so what happened to the Bellomo Family doesn't happen to yours!Our firms mission is to ensure that you and your family never needlessly, painfully suffer. Every team member has a personal story that has brought us here to advocate for you and your family. We want to replace your burden with peace of mind. We have the answers, but more important, we have your back.Bellomo & Associates, LLC advises Individuals and families, business owners, senior citizens, and their families about the estate planning and elder law challenges facing them today. For seniors and their families facing the issues of aging, or for those of any age who wish to protect their familys financial future, we counsel clients and provide solutions on Asset Protection; Specials Needs Trusts; Wills; Trust Design; Medicaid; Estate Planning; Nursing Home Matters; and Estate Administration. For our clients who own businesses, our team assists them with succession planning for their business in conjunction with their estate planning.  We have office locations in York, PA, and Lancaster, PA.We offer FREE workshops!  Our workshops are fun and entertaining ways to learn! We provide you with the information to decide what is right for you. If after attending, you decide we arent the right fit no problem! Youll never feel any pressure from our team.