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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Eldercare and Probate Mediation

Faculty:  Zena Zumeta                                                

Eldercare and Probate Mediation training focuses on adult guardianship and family caregiver mediation as well as probate mediation after the death of a parent. Adult guardianship and family caregiver mediation are quite different from other types of mediation. Probate mediation is similar to civil mediation, but the emotions of the parties are often charged.  We focus on inclusion of the older person's voice in the mediation and techniques for working in multiparty family mediations. At the conclusion of the training, participants will be prepared to organize and perform elder mediations. Meant for both mediators and possible participants in mediation, this is an advanced training for those who have already taken basic mediation training, and an introduction to elder mediation for those who have not.

Elder mediation training covers the following topics:

  • Differences between elder mediation and other types of mediation
  • Guardianship/conservatorship law and practice
  • Capacity and disability issues
  • Legal red flags
  • Elder abuse
  • Confidentiality issues
  • Multiparty mediation and family dynamics
  • Deciding who should be present at the mediation
  • Working with attorneys, court representatives, GAL's and institutional representatives
  • Role of community resources, support persons, advocates, and surrogates in mediation
  • Ethical standards for elder mediators
  • Mental and physical effects of aging, disabilities, and accommodation in mediation
  • Societal and participant bias, and family and cultural attitudes, and their impact on the mediation process
  • Premediation interviews and screening for appropriateness of mediation
  • Marketing an elder mediation practice
  • Demonstration, video, and practice

This training meets the requirements under the Association for Conflict Resolution Elder Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution Section's core objectives for elder mediation training and adult guardianship mediation training.

Zena Zumeta, is internationally known as both a mediator and trainer of mediators. She is president of the Mediation Training and Consultation Institute, Zena Zumeta Mediation Services, and The Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. Zumeta is a former board member and president of the Academy of Family Mediators (now merged into the Association for Conflict Resolution), past president of the Michigan Council for Family and Divorce Mediation, and past regional vice president of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. Zumeta is the recipient of the Family Mediation Council-Michigan Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award; the National Education Association/Saturn Corporation Award for Union-Management Collaboration; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award from ACR; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.