Collaborative Elder Law – Using alternative dispute methods to find solutions in a respectful and meaningful way

Jacqueline Horton is spearheading the first Collaborative Elder Law group in Victoria, an exciting new initiative to the growing demand for alternative dispute regarding the elderly adult. The Genesis Law Group is at the forefront of this new and emerging area of law.

What is Collaborative Elder law?

Collaborative Elder Law is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which the parties (usually family members and the elderly adult) settle their disputes and involves lawyers who are committed to resolving elder law disputes without resorting to legal proceedings.

Collaborative Elder Law can also involve other professionals from other disciplines, such as psychiatric geriatricians, health care providers, counsellors, accountants and financial advisors who are certified senior advisors.

As opposed to mediation, Collaborative Elder Law requires all parties to:

  • Sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement stating the nature of the dispute
  • The parties voluntarily disclose all information that is relevant and necessary, such as bank account details and medical records
  • All parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement
  • Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the commencement of legal proceedings
  • The parties may engage other professionals, such as geriatric psychiatrists, accountants, counsellors and other health care providers and
  • The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed

Collaborative Elder Law can help families work together to:

  • Create a care plan for the elderly adult who has become disabled or incapacitated
  • Proactively plan ahead for when the elderly adult requires further assistance or nursing care
  • Resolve disputes over the use of Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements and Living Wills
  • Resolve disputes over particular issues, such as ability to drive and live independently
  • Resolve conflicts regarding protection from financial abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults and
  • Resolve conflicts regarding adult guardianship and capacity

A collaborative approach can provide a solution orientated process to accomplish the above goals and does so in a respectful and meaningful way that ensures the elderly adult maintains his or her independence in a safe and respectful way.

To find out more about Collaborative Elder Law please contact Jacqueline Horton, or call the office to arrange an appointment.