Florida Elder Law and Estate Mediation
Family members in conflict over the care of an aging loved one, or over the estate of a deceased loved one, can often resolve their differences through elder law mediation. Keeping the dispute out of the court system can save money, time and aggravation, and may prevent already frayed family relationships from undergoing further, possibly irrepairable damage.
Joseph Karp is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator, a Florida Bar and nationally certified elder law attorney, and a former trial attorney. He brings to the mediation process decades of experience in elder law, estate planning, and estate and trust administration, as well as years of litigation and mediation experience. For families and their attorneys who commit to making a good-faith effort to resolve their issues, Mr. Karp provides a private, structured setting in which all may air their views in a civil way.
A professional mediator is not a decision maker, but rather a skilled and sensitive facilitator who makes sure that all parties have their say.
Typically, elder law mediation will involve adult children at war over the care, or the estate, of a parent. Some of the specific differences that can be resolved include:
Where will the parent live? At home? In a nursing home?
What kind of care does the parent need?
How should the parent's money been managed? Who will manage it?
Who makes health care decisions for the parent?
Is a guardianship necessary? Who should the guardian be?
How should a deceased parent's estate be divided?
Mr. Karp understands that the parties in mediation bring to the table not only their immediate concerns, but their past relationships, family histories, and their personal financial and family concerns. For example, one child may believe that as the parent's primary caregiver, she is entitled to make the big decisions. A son who has fallen on hard economic times may believe that a deceased parent intended for him to have a bigger inheritance than a more financially successful sibling. Mr. Karp encourages all parties to express their opinions; ensures all are heard; and solicits and suggests alternative solutions.
If the parent is competent, he/she may participate in the mediation. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be appropriate to include other participants, such as social workers, neighbors, caregivers, financial experts, clergy, physicians, and geriatric care managers.