In many family situations, issues about the care of the Elder prior to death, reimbursement from the Elder to the caretaker child, and the Who Gets What When, that is often dealt with by Estate Planning (Will, Trust, etc.), may not be adequately discussed or prepared for prior to death, resulting in heirs not receiving what they believe they are entitled to or one or more heirs receiving a windfall.
In this scenario, the opportunity for the family, heirs and legatees (beneficiaries under the various estate planning documents who may or may not be family members) to sit together and voice their preferences, claims, and possibly disappointment in the safe, non adversarial and non threatening environment of mediation, can lead to a Compromise Agreement whereby all parties agree to a different disposition than the one that will be instituted by the Probate Court under the current instruments.
The mediation process can flesh out these issues and assist in a resolution among the parties without full blown litigation and its related expense. In addition, by meeting at the table, with or without legal counsel, there is a chance that those family members in disagreement with each other, may find common ground and have an opportunity to salvage their relationships. For themselves (their generation of children of the deceased Elder) and for their children and their families (Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, etc.).