Mediation is a process where the parties involved in a dispute attend before a neutral third party person, called the mediator. The mediator will facilitate a discussion about the disputed issues with a view to helping the parties come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
In certain cities, such as Windsor, Toronto and Ottawa, contested estate matters (including guardianship, trust and power of attorney matters) are required by the Rules of Civil Procedure to be mediated. Often, parties outside of these jurisdictions will volunteer to take part in a mediation of an estate dispute. The cost of litigating an estate dispute can be exorbitant. If a dispute can be settled at the mediation stage, these costs can be significantly less than a full trial of the matter. Also, the issues in dispute in estates matters are often fuelled by family history, emotions, and complex relationships – these issues are almost always better addressed by the parties themselves through mediation rather than by a judge in a formal court hearing.
Jan Goddard offers her services as a mediator in estates, guardianship, trusts, and power of attorney disputes. She has over 25 years’ experience which she draws upon to assist parties in mediation.