The Basics of Elder and Estates Mediation

Elder and Estates Mediation is a voluntary process, where a neutral mediator supports family members to make decisions about the care of loved ones, planning for the financial needs of loved ones, and resolving inheritance disputes.

  • Mediation is voluntary: Mediation is a process which is available where family members would like to make their own agreements, without Court intervention, and would like assistance doing so.
  • The mediator is neutral and impartial: In mediation, the mediator helps family members articulate their needs and concerns, assists in identifying options to meet those concerns, and supports family members in creating an agreement. The mediator does not take sides and has no stake in the outcome.
  • Mediation is confidential: At Bluewater Mediation, all mediation is conducted on a confidential basis. This means that anything said cannot be used in Court or other proceedings. In addition, the mediator cannot later be called upon to testify in a court proceeding about what happened at the mediation or to produce any documents that may have been prepared in mediation. All family members involved in the mediation sign an Agreement at the beginning of the process that sets out terms with respect to confidentiality.
  •  Mediation is cost-effective: While the mediator cannot guarantee that family members will reach agreement, where they do, mediation is often significantly more cost effective than proceeding in Court.
  • Mediation of some but not all issues: Family members can choose to take some issues to mediation rather than all. For example, family members could decide to mediate issues regarding physical care of a parent, while addressing issues regarding financial management for a parent in Court.
  • Mediation requires good faith and full disclosure: The family mediation process requires that both spouses make a commitment to proceeding in good faith and to sharing all relevant information related to finances and other issues.
  • The mediator does not provide legal advice: The mediator facilitates a process where family members make a plan for your family’s future, together. The mediator does not, and cannot, provide legal advice. Before any agreement is finalized, each family member is strongly encouraged to consult a lawyer to receive independent legal advice on the draft agreement. This is to ensure that each person understands his or her legal rights and is making informed decisions.