Create an Estate Plan tailored to your unique family

Mediation will allow you to create an Estate Plan tailored to your unique family.

Today’s families are more complex than in previous generations. For example, many of us are in second or subsequent marriages, live together in a committed relationship without being married, wish to leave our assets to beneficiaries other than our natural-born children, or have children with special needs. Using mediation, you can design an estate plan that provides for all of your goals and wishes and which also leaves a legacy of family harmony.

Couples in second, or subsequent, marriages:  Spouses may feel conflicted between leaving property to children from a prior marriage and the current spouse, along with any children from a new marriage.

At Peace Talks, we allow couples the opportunity to discuss openly their intentions for all their children. The benefit of such open discussion, facilitated by a Peace Talks mediator, creates a forum to address not only logistical issues of asset distribution but also the emotional side of it.

Significant others without marital relationship: Unmarried couples usually have no automatic legal right to inherit each other’s property.Unmarried couples, whether lesbian, gay or heterosexual, have the right to leave their property to whomever they want using a will or a living trust.California has passed a law providing unmarried couples with many of the property inheritance rights of married couples. [California Probate Code Section 21610] The couple must register their partnership with the state in order to benefit from these new laws.
At Peace Talks, we understand the unique situation unmarried couples are in regarding estate planning. The benefit of creating an estate plan through Peace Talks mediation is your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones from relying on state laws for your asset distribution.

Unequal distribution of property:For example, parents may want to leave property unequally between two or more children. Sometimes a parent may want to provide more for one child who has special needs or who is not as prosperous as another child. When discussed in an open way, all the children may agree with and understand their parents’ intentions. However, when an estate plan is only discovered after a parent has passed away, the children and other beneficiaries may be unaware of the parents’ reasoning and may feel upset or resentful.

At Peace Talks, mediating an estate plan with all your family members involved takes the secret out of estate planning. This allows all members of your family to openly discuss and understand your intentions. Peace Talks mediation allows you the opportunity to listen to your children’s needs which may be different from what you thought they may be.

Long-term care for a child with special needs: Parents of mentally or physically disabled children may wish to provide continued care and support for those children. This may require that they must leave the majority of their resources to their disabled child, leaving less for any other children. Parents may need to consult with experts in government benefits and other members of the family to create an estate plan that will allow the special needs child to be provided for.

At Peace Talks, we can help you tailor an estate plan that provides for your child(ren), while making sure that it also meet requirements for receiving needed government benefits.

Leaving a legacy to a charitable cause: Parents may want to leave money or items, or both, to non-profit organizations, institutions, or specific charities. Often, such a gift to someone outside of the family can be a surprise or met with mixed emotions by family members. At Peace Talks, we allow your family members to discuss your intentions and your motivations for such gifts. This insures that there are no misunderstandings regarding your wish to leave a public legacy with those that matter to you most.

Benefits of Estate Planning Mediation: