Mediation can be an effective process to resolve most estate disputes involved in estate litigation. Estate disputes can be lengthy and stressful and most often involve private familial issues. Mediation is a great forum for resolving estate disputes mostly because these issues are often more than just about the legal problems. These conflicts are often highly emotional and mediation can be a helpful tool to bring parties together.
Pros of mediation:
- Faster and less costly. If parties settle during mediation, they can save thousands of dollars and years of time. Litigation is expensive and it can take years to litigate a matter to trial.
- Confidential. Litigation is a public forum and mediation is private as between the parties.
- Mediation does not follow court rules. Parties can be flexible in terms of how they define their resolution.
- Mediator is not a judge and cannot force you or the other side to settle. The mediator’s role is not to make decisions but to understand each side’s strengths and weaknesses and determine if it may be possible to close the gap between the parties.
- Neutral setting.
In Ontario, there is mandatory mediation for estate matters in Toronto, Windsor, and the County of Essex under rule 75.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 75.1, proceedings relating to estates, trusts, or substitute decisions are directed to mediation in the absence of a court directed exemption.
If you are involved in an estate dispute, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation!