THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
Harvard Law School* describes the benefits of mediation:
Mediation is voluntary for everyone involved.
Mediation sessions are confidential except in rare circumstances. (Mediators cannot later be called to testify about what was said in mediation.)
Mediators are not judges, they do not take sides or tell you what to do and they must remain neutral throughout.
POSITIVE AND FORWARD-LOOKING
Parties usually have a better understanding of each other even if they don’t reach a mediated agreement, by improving communication, hearing the other person’s point of view and thinking abut their future relationship.
Parties craft and control the outcome.
Parties are more likely to follow the requirements of a mediated agreement because they have crafted it themselves.
Mediations can often happen more quickly than waiting for a court date.
Mediations can be arranged at a convenient time and place.
Elder Mediation may address many issues, including:
+ Family dynamics and relationship issues involving a senior
+ Trusts and estates matters involving a senior
+ Elder abuse
+ Challenges around aging and end of life
+ Issues regarding a senior's living situation, including assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities
My experience with seniors began over a decade ago in long-term care facilities as a companion and advocate. I established a service group at the University of California, Berkeley to train and channel student volunteers into Bay Area long term care facilities - a group still in existence today. I also served as a Long Term Care Ombudsman for Alameda County, ensuring that seniors in local residential care facilities received quality care.
After University, I worked with the legislative advocacy team at AARP Sacramento and became a California Senate Fellow. As a Senate Fellow, I worked as an policy advocate for seniors. I currently serve on a committee with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) in San Francisco, which is a major contributor to California legislative reform for seniors.
As an attorney, I continued serving seniors. I received a fellowship to work at a non-profit with seniors facing elder abuse. I later practiced trusts and estates law and served families needing help with estate planning, probate, and trust administration. My most fulfilling work in this area was with individuals who recently lost their spouse and were navigating the emotional, practical, and legal aspects of this grievous loss.
These conversations can take the form of an informal discussion or may be aimed at a clear resolution that serves the senior's best interests.
Trusts + Estates Mediation may address many issues, including:
+ Challenging dynamics between trustees, beneficiaries, and settlors
+ Disagreement about the terms of an estate planning document
+ Disputes regarding trust accountings
+ Estate planning around divorce and conscious uncoupling
+ The transition of a fiduciary duty from one party to another
+ Special Needs Trusts
I served as a Trusts and Estates attorney for several years at a boutique firm in Oakland, California. My work involved preparing estate planning documents including: trusts, wills, advance health care directives, HIPAA authorizations, durable powers of attorney for financial management, and various deeds to transfer real property between individuals, spouses, and into a trust.
My practice also included advising clients on funding their trusts, the administration of trusts, the probate of estates, and planning for the distribution of retirement benefits.
Often estate planning involves complex family dynamics, difficult decisions about distributions to beneficiaries, and hard choices about death. Mediation offers a space to discuss these topics in a structured way with a neutral facilitator.
Family Mediation may include discussion around:
+ Complex family dynamics
+ Separation or conscious uncoupling
+ Divorce arrangements
+ Co-parenting agreements
+ Premarital arrangements
+ Facilitated discussion around abusive or difficult behavior
I have mediated family disputes around separation and divorce. I have worked with siblings facing the complex trust administration after the death of their parents. I have worked with couples exploring how to prepare for marriage, while negotiating the intricacies of blending families and finances.
These family conversation can be painful and emotional. But the presence of a neutral party can help guide the conversation in a productive direction.
TRUSTS + ESTATES
TRAINING + EXPERIENCE
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL | JURIS DOCTOR
HARVARD MEDIATION PROGRAM | CERTIFICATE IN MEDIATION
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL | COURSE ON MEDIATION WITH DAVID A. HOFFMAN
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL | MEDIATION CLINIC WITH HARVARD MEDIATION PROGRAM
BERKELEY LAW | COURSE ON ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTICE WITH JUDGE MARC L. GOLDBERG
SEEDS COMMUNITY RESOLUTION CENTER - BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA | COMMUNITY MEDIATOR
READY TO MEDIATE?
NEED TO KNOW MORE?
If want to learn more about mediation, or are interested in working with me as your mediator, let's talk. We can explore whether mediation is appropriate for your situation and if I am the right fit for you.
Schedule a complimentary consultation or request a price sheet below.