The Estate Mediation Group

Estate Mediation

Definition

Estate mediation is a special meeting that brings together the people and entities involved in an estate dispute for the express purpose of working out a resolution. It is a goal-oriented event convened at a specific date and time and it usually lasts a full day.

Throughout the day, the mediator facilitates discussion and helps the participants move incrementally towards a resolution, working with everyone in one big group or a series of smaller sub-groups. Participants are encouraged to engage in respectful dialogue with give-and-take as they jointly consider the problem and try out possible ways to resolve it.

When resolution is reached, the participants and their lawyers document it. Depending on who is involved in the matter, court approval may be sought at a later date.

Participation

Typically, the individuals and entities directly involved in an estate dispute participate in the mediation with their respective lawyers. Mediation respects the lawyer-client relationship and does not replace or usurp what takes place within it. From time to time, others such as accountants, valuators or designated support people may take part in all or part of the process.

Mediation involves respectful dialogue in a search for a mutually acceptable resolution. This can be hard to do in contested estate matters because they can be emotionally charged, aggravating and frustrating. Being prepared can help. So can practising and applying these three basic principles:

  • Intentional speaking: speaking on one's own behalf and contributing what has relevance and meaning to the topic at hand
  • Attentive listening: focusing clearly on what is being said by someone else; being curious and asking genuine questions in place of assumptions and judgments
  • Self-awareness: considering the impact (tone, timing, effect, etc.) of one's words and actions before, during and after one interacts with others present.

Mediation participants also have certain roles and responsibilities in the process, as summarized below:

Lawyers

  • Immediately upon reserving a date, provide relevant case details for the Agreement to Mediate, including any court orders under Rule 75.1;
  • At least 7 days before the mediation session, prepare and send a Mediation Statement plus relevant supporting documents, with copies to all other parties;
  • Send Mediation Preparation form to client(s) and facilitate its completion and delivery to the mediator;
  • Send Agreement to Mediate to client(s) and facilitate its completion and delivery to the mediator;
  • Attend mediation session with client(s) in the hope of respectfully influencing and being influenced by the discussion with the mediator and other participants;
  • Support and advise client(s) in deciding whether and how to resolve contested matters in all of the circumstances of the case;
  • Participate in documenting any resolutions reached;
  • Generally support the search for a mutually acceptable resolution.

Clients

  • At least 7 days before the mediation session, complete and send Mediation Preparation form (or opt out);
  • Sign Agreement to Mediate and abide by its terms;
  • Attend mediation session in the hope of respectfully influencing and being influenced by the discussions with the mediator and other participants;
  • In consultation with legal counsel, decide whether and how to resolve contested matters in all of the circumstances of the case;
  • In consultation with legal counsel, sign paperwork to document any resolutions reached;
  • Genuinely attempt a search for a mutually acceptable resolution.

Other Participants

  • Respect confidentiality;
  • Provide expertise, support or other relevant input, as appropriate;
  • Generally support the search for a mutually acceptable resolution.

The Estate Mediation Group

HOME

WHAT WE DO

Estate Mediation

Conflict Coaching

Family Conferences

Rates

WHO WE ARE

M. Gaylanne Phelan

Genevieve A. Chornenki

Barry S. Corbin

John M. Fuke

RESOURCES

Our Standard Forms

Other Materials

CONTACT