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The Family Mediation Blog

Revoking the Irrevocable Trust in a Divorce - Or - Never Say Can't, Say Decant! - Part II*

Monday, March 19, 2018

Revoking the Irrevocable Trust in a Divorce - Or - Never Say Can't, Say Decant! - Part II*

by Jonathan E. Fields

Even with Pfannenstiehl behind us, the complex interplay of the irrevocable trust and divorce continues to vex practitioners.  The topic du jour is decanting and divorce -- and the SJC just dove right in with Ferri v. Powell Ferri, 476 Mass. 651 (2017).  

Before we go further, a quick primer.  “Decanting” is the process of pouring assets from an irrevocable trust into a newly created trust.  The big question at the heart of decanting and divorce: what if, during (or anticipating) a divorce, the trustee decanted the assets into a newly created trust that was, say, more...

How does a Mediator become Certified?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In Massachusetts, as in most states, there is no certification or license provided by the Commonwealth certifying mediators. Under the mediator confidentiality statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 233, Section 23C, mediators who have taken at least 30 hours of training and meet other requirements, have confidentiality protections in their client communications. However, the trainings are not monitored by the Commonwealth and a trained mediator is not the same as a certified mediator.

Some private organizations do provide certification for mediators, including MCFM. If you see a mediator claiming to be certified you should ask what organization has provided their certification and what are the...

Branding your Mediation Practice

Friday, February 16, 2018

Just like any other profession, being trained as a mediator doesn't lead directly to having mediation cases.  Finding mediation clients, getting experience, and building a knowledge base requires both new and experienced mediators to do things that aren't taught in the mediation training.  To be an active mediator and build a practice, mediators must also learn how to run their business and how to market themselves.  The simplest and first thing you can do is start telling people that you are a trained mediator.  

If you want people to think of you as a mediator, then you have to make that a core part of your identity and branding.  Put mediator on your business card, add it to the title of your business, and include it in your e-mail signature.  If you're a member of a mediation related organization, advertise that...

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