You may have heard about mediation, but do you know what exactly mediation is, and what it entails?

Let us share with you more about the importance of mediation and Roth Elder Law’s new Mediation Program.

Mediation is a process where two parties discuss their disputes with a qualified and experienced impartial third-party, known as a mediator. The mediator can help the two parties come to an amicable resolution of conflict, outside of the courts.

Many people, however, may wonder how mediation and estate planning are related. In reality, the two areas go hand-in-hand.

They may also ask how Roth Elder Law came to add this practice area. Divorce mediation, in particular, is quickly gaining popularity among separating and divorcing couples who are not interested in a long, combative divorce process, and who simply want to hammer out terms for custody, visitation, and the division of their assets quickly and discreetly in order to make the process less stressful for themselves, and less traumatic for their children.  Most importantly, the cost to mediate a divorce is usually substantially lower than the traditional model of retaining lawyers and going to court. This in turn enables families to move forward more quickly, with less interpersonal conflict and financial stress for everyone involved.

When a couple has an existing estate plan, an estate planning attorney can provide advice on how best to divide and distribute assets in that part of the estate plan.  They also will assist in drafting new estate plans, including wills and other important planning documents for each individual spouse as part of a separation agreement, or following a divorce.

Our services do not stop here though. Estate planning clients and business formation clients also come to us for assistance in organizing and protecting their assets both during their lifetime and afterwards. This is why crafting good, individually tailored estate plans requires a higher level of knowledge and sophistication than, say, completing a fill-in-the-blank form last will and testament online. Accidents, contractual disputes, workplace conflicts, lawsuits, and divorce can impact any of us, at any time. By offering private mediation services to address these issues as they arise, we can assist clients, both old and new, in resolving disputes quickly, and often at a far less cost, than going to court.

Further, for special needs parents, a large concern about the future can be summed up with two questions: How do I ensure my child has the best resources possible to help guarantee he or she has the best chance for the future he or she deserves? What will happen to my child when I am gone? Estate Planning and Special Education advocacy together can provide the answers you need.

First, from toddlerhood through the age of 21, children with certain physical, intellectual, and behavioral needs are protected by State and Federal laws that guarantee them access to free public education and special education services that are appropriate for their individual needs. Special Education attorneys and Parent Advocates work with families, school districts, and service providers to ensure that a child’s educational needs are being met, and that their rights are protected until they reach adulthood.

And finally, a good estate plan for a family with a special needs child tackles that second question and offers solutions by creating special needs trusts, carefully drafted wills that ensure the parents’ wishes are known, and names preferred guardians, trustees, powers of attorney, and caretakers, and can make adult living arrangements, provide Medicaid planning, and so forth. By combining these legal advocacy and estate planning services, we can help special needs families address issues arising in the present as well as in the future. We believe our firm is unique and well-qualified to understand and assist clients who are facing these challenges.

We look forward to helping our clients plan for the future and find solutions that help families achieve peace of mind when it comes to real-life legal matters that arise along the way. Do not hesitate to contact our office to ask us your questions and to evaluate whether mediation is the right fit for your legal needs.