Greg, Larry and Shelley’s mother passed away. Although the mother had a valid Last Will and Testament which provided for the distribution of her real property, stocks, and cash, she also left a houseful of furniture including the childhood bedroom furniture of the siblings. Also, there were two relatively new flat screen television sets and a valuable piano. The brothers and sister could not agree about dividing up the personal property, so their mother’s furniture was collecting dust in a storage unit, and Greg was paying the monthly bill. By expressing themselves in the safe and non-judgmental environment of mediation, the neutral Mediator was able to help the siblings listen to each other. In no time at all, the Mediator was able to write up the list of “who gets what.” The family saved thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, as well as months of time by choosing to mediate rather than litigate the issue of their mother’s personal property.
Often times, family members do not agree on what is fair and what is equal. In fact, “fair” and “equal” usually have different meanings.
A Mediator will help each member of the family to understand the perspective and sensitivity of each other family member. In addition, a Mediator can help the family brainstorm as to varying distribution options, such as a private family auction, tagging items with a specific name or a specific colored sticker, or a random drawing.
The death of a loved one is obviously a very emotional time, and can sometimes bring long-buried feelings to the surface. A trained Mediator will facilitate sensitive conversations and encourage respect and empathy towards all involved.