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Beach at Sunset

Estate / Family / Advisor /Caregiver 
Mediation Services

In this very contentious world, the concept of communication n the arena of Estate Planning (dictating who will care for you during your incapacity and who will distribute or control your assets including your small business after you die)  is unfortunately becoming a lost art.  When it comes to developing estate plans, clients often ask the question - "should I tell my kids or my nominated agents about all this?" (Translation:  "shouldn't we wait for them to find out they have the responsibility of caring for me, my money and possibly my dependents, when or if something happens?"

 

 It is unfortunately the norm that most elders are uncomfortable with explaining and feeling like they would have to defend their decisions as to who would be in charge and what they expect of their children, heirs and caregivers when the time comes. 

 

But our children and the people you have nominated are smart and to a certain extent, you trust them, so why keep them in the dark?  Most of the agents or fiduciaries who are appointed are well aware of the horror stories of being unexpectedly thrown into a situation of managing a parent's affairs - so why don't we communicate with them or at least teach them what estate planning is? 

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" I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens "       --- Woody Allen 

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WHY DON'T WE COMMUNICATE WITH OUR KIDS AND AGENTS? 

1.    Fear of death  - not talking about it means it won't happen?  

2.    Avoiding that difficult conversation - who wants to talk about their death and what kid wants to face it?  

3.     It's not polite to talk about money

4.     I've already told my kids I love them, or my kids know I love them... so I don't need to do it again. 

4.     I didn't understand what my lawyer was talking about .... and don't want to look dumb infront of the kids... 

5.     I dont want to be accused of 'playing favorites' since Estate Planning does require me to name someone to be in control of my affairs. 

At Williams Mediations & Arbitrations, LLC we strongly believe that Estate planning is so much more than just creating legal documents.  Leaving a 'mindful legacy' means communicating about things that are private and difficult to express but are ultimately expressions of love. 

Unfortunately without adequate communication, the complex nature of managing assets, finances, taxes and family dynamics during times of grief often creates conflict such that fragile family bonds are stretched and sometimes irretreivably broken.   

At Williams Mediations & Arbitrations, we provide our clients with the opportunity to communicate legacy wishes - by helping families avoid costly litigation and mediating family, sibling and business conflicts during incapacity of a principle or after death, we resolve conflicts that may arise when distributing or managing assets.  We also often work closely with financial advisors, wealth managers  and appointed Trustees to review existing plans and then have a 'family summit' to educate and resolove disputes between adult children and appointed agents and fiduciaries.  Finally, we have found a niche in working with existing professional caregiving organizations to mediate conflicts between families and the companies regarding the care and support of a loved family member.  

At Williams Mediations & Arbitrations, we provide the following services relating to Estate Planning: 

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MEDIATING SIBLING AND FAMILY CONFLICT

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MEDIATING CAREGIVER and ELDERCARE DISPUTES

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MEDIATING FAMILY BUSINESS CONFLICTS

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MEDIATING TRUSTEE AND ADVISOR DISPUTES

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MEDIATING SIBLING / FAMILY CONFLICT

"No family is Perfect... we argue, we fight, we may even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family ... the love will ALWAYS be there"                                                          --- Unknown 

When a client has more than one child, they often grapple with the difficult decision as to whom to give responsibilities to, should the principle become incapacitated or after the parent passes away.  Birth Order should never be the deciding factor but it is often the defaulting reason why the eldest is most often appointed.  

At the end of the day, every child wants to know that they were loved, respected and cherished by a parent.  The old Smoother's brother sketch, "Mom loved me more" has some basis in reality.  During periods of extreme stress or the loss of a parent, juvenile behaviors often arise, bringing about ugly statements and sometimes even threats of litigation.   Before attorney's are retained to go to battle, sitting down with an impartial mediator who will listen and address each party's concerns and being sensitive to the psychological impacts of grief  or sibling rivalry, can go a very long way toward family reconciliation.  

Similarly, if a second spouse is left with defending him or herself to the children of a deceased spouse's children, sitting down with a neutral party who is experienced in Estate planning, Probate and Trust administration can go a long way toward calming down grieving family members.  

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