There are times when family law issues and estate issues intersect. Mediation may be one dispute resolution mechanism that can address both when this occurs. Family mediation usually arises when parties have separated and are disputing over matrimonial property, support or custody issues. These problems however may carry over if one of the spouses dies and these issues are left unresolved. An estate mediator may be able to deal with these outstanding family law questions or this may require that lawyers sort through the family law matters. Family mediation and estate mediation deal with distinctive disputes. Estate mediation is done to resolve disputes that have arisen when a person dies. Family law mediation deals with issues when all parties are alive.
If you find you are in a conflict which started off as a family law dispute but a party dies and it is now an estate dispute, seek legal advice first so you understand the family law issues and where they stand now at death. Make sure you know your rights as it relates to both family law and estate law. Ensure that any mediator you work with is aware of both family law and estate law disputes and feels comfortable in that regard.