INFORMATION FOR FIDUCIARIES

Whether you are a family member or a professional Fiduciary, early mediation is a valuable tool to help fiduciaries set the tone and expectations as you administer an estate. Mediation can be used at any time as either an initial ground rules meeting or as a check- up to an existing relationship to help stay on course or modify as needed.
Mediation is an opportunity for the fiduciary to educate all parties involved. This can help avoid conflict, save relationships and solve potential problems. Parties are given a voice to be heard while gaining insight into the role of fiduciary. Early mediation can help to generate understanding and foster an environment of trust and buy- in to the fiduciary’s responsibilities.

  • Set guidelines for communication
  • address underlining tensions and clarify expectations
  • establish protocols
  • review budgets
  • manage expectations
  • educate all involved
  • manage conflict; save relationships and solve problems
  • appropriate administrate expense

WHAT MAKES PCM UNIQUE?

NO LITIGATION: We only mediate and never litigate at Pacific Coast Mediation. This allows our focus to always remain on communication and settlement.

TEAM MEDIATION: We are one of just a few mediation practices that always co-mediates. All our clients receive an attorney and non-attorney mediator for their process. Our clients appreciate this unique and balanced perspective.

NO HIDDEN COSTS: By offering all inclusive packages we ensure transparency in our fees. You choose the package that meets your individual needs. No billable hours therefore no surprise billing at the end.

HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?

MEDIATION
Mediation sessions are informal but structured discussions facilitated by the mediators. All parties will have an opportunity to discuss their perspective on the issues. The mediators structure the discussion to help clarify the issues and move toward an agreement. PCM focuses on the future.

YOU DECIDE
The mediators do not decide the outcome, but help the parties reach their own agreement on all issues. Mediation is a way of achieving results while preserving, and at times even enhancing, the relationship of the parties.

PRIVACY
All parties will meet in our office to discuss all the issues that need to be resolved (not in the public court room). Your discussions regarding the issues that are personal and private (such as your money, care as you age, funeral wishes, choosing of beneficiaries etc.) are simply discussed at the mediation table with the mediators and not in the public arena of the court room.

AGREEMENT
An agreement is reached when all parties are satisfied with all of the terms. You know your unique needs, wants and relationships better than we do. PCM is not the decision maker, you are. We will support you, facilitate the conversations on the issues that need to be decided, give you legal information (not legal advice) and draft a memorandum of understanding for clients.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE MEDIATORS?

The role of the mediators is to:

  • Facilitate a process that assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable solution
  • Help parties communicate productively on difficult issues in order to stay future focused
  • Help in generating options/brainstorming possibilities for resolving issues between the parties
  • Ensure that the mediation process stays balanced and all parties get to discuss their wants and needs from their perspective
  • When appropriate assist in crafting terms of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement that is consistent with the principles of justice and fairness

Pacific Coast Mediation will provide all parties with current, relevant legal INFORMATION in California but will not advise the clients or make judgments on their behalf about what they should do with the legal information. The difference between providing legal information verse legal advice is that our attorney mediators can tell parties what the law says but not how they should use that information for their benefit because the mediator does NOT represent any one party.

FIDUCIARIES CAN USE EARLY MEDIATION TO:

  1. Discuss Fiduciary’s duties and fees
  2. Set guidelines for communications
  3. Address underlying tensions and clarify expectations
  4. Establish protocols to address issues as they arise and prevent potential conflicts from brewing
  5. Formalize visitation plans/elder care plans
  6. Create a strategy to divide personal property and/or disburse discretionary funds
  7. Review working estate budgets
  8. Manage expectations of the fiduciary’s clients, family members, friends and /or beneficiaries
  9. Use as a yearly “thermometer” check in tool with clients

The courts have indicated their support for early mediation and many Judges have acknowledged mediation as an appropriate administrative expense.

ROLE OF FIDUCIARY VS. MEDIATOR VS. ATTORNEY

The Fiduciary has a duty to the client/entity and is a participant in the mediation together with their client/entity/interested third parties.
An Attorney may represent and advise the Fiduciary or an interested third party.
The Mediator is a neutral facilitator who has no bias in the outcome and serves to help the parties reach an agreement.
While the Facilitator has a vested interest in the terms of any potential agreement arising out of the mediation, the Attorney is there to advise their clients on the terms of the agreement as it applies specifically to them. The Mediator facilitates the discussion and works with all parties to help them clarify issues and reach agreements.

WILL PACIFIC COAST MEDIATION PREPARE OR ASSIST IN PREPARING THE LEGAL DOCUMENTS?

When it is appropriate, the mediators will assist you in the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SCHEDULE MEDIATION?

After all parties agree they want to use mediation for their process the first session can be scheduled within two weeks. We offer afternoon and evening appointments to try and meet the needs of our clients who need appointment times for after work.

HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?

Our fees are All-Inclusive. We do not have billable hours. We want to encourage ongoing communication throughout this process without the fear of receiving additional billable hours. You simply choose the package that meets your individual needs and that is the total fee you pay. This allows our clients to be able to know exactly how much to budget for. We understand this process and decision making can be difficult so we have structured our fees as all inclusive so clients know what to budget for. All of our packages include:

  • All emails to and from case manager at PCM
  • All scheduling of appointments with case manager
  • All phone calls, faxes and photocopies
  • Billing and invoices
  • All preparation for mediation (typically takes about 4 hours of prep time for the mediators but you are not charged for any additional time needed above the typical 4 hours)
  • Mediation session hours (for the amount you choose in your package)
  • Drafting of a memorandum of understanding, when appropriate
  • Notary fee, when needed

Package A: Includes all the above plus up 4 hour of mediation session with attorney mediator and non-attorney mediator.

Package B: Includes all the above plus up to 8 hours of mediation sessions with attorney mediator and non-attorney mediator.

Package C:. Includes all the above plus up to 12 hours of mediation with attorney and non-attorney mediator. These 12 hours of mediation time can be broken up into small time frame if preferred.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION:

Email: info@pacificcoastmediation.com or call: 858-750-1634