Legal proceedings can be long, expensive, and time consuming.There is an alternative or complementary process which may allow parties in a dispute to settle it faster and cheaper than going to trial:Mediation. Mediation is a voluntary settlement process in which the parties are assisted by a third party (the mediator) to negotiate a resolution. Mediators do not give legal advice, take sides, or impose decisions.
There are many benefits to attempting to mediate a dispute.Mediation allows the parties the flexibility of designing a solution that is tailored to their specific needs. It can resolve a dispute without going to court, at an early stage, and is generally far less expensive than paying counsel to prepare and attend trial. Frequently, the parties agree to share the cost of mediation. Mediation can save money and reduce stress.
Mediation is a private process and the parties can agree to keep the terms of a settlement confidential.What goes on at mediation is also privileged, which means that the positions the parties take cannot later be used against them if they are unable to settle.A mediator cannot be called as a witness in court.
Mediators are neutral. They do not give legal advice, do not make or impose decisions on the parties, and do not take sides in the mediation. Their role is to facilitate settlement discussions between the parties. Although emotions will run high from time to time, with the assistance of a skilled mediator, parties can often work out arrangements that resolve their dispute without the necessity of litigation. In mediation, parties take control and ownership of their solutions rather than having a third party, such as a judge or arbitrator, impose a solution upon them.
FH&P has two of our very own accredited mediators, Gillian Dougans, who specializes in legal disputes and workplace conflicts, and Heidi Taylor, our family mediator. Check out our following series on mediation to find out more about it, and to hear from our mediators!
Moral Obligations When Writing your Will - Contemporary Standards of B.C.
In most cases, a will-maker has testamentary autonomy, the complete freedom to dispose of one’s estate as they see fit. However, certain situations necessitate the involvement of the court to override the wishes of the will-maker. When drafting your will, what moral obligations do you keep in mind? Do strained social and familial ties serve as enough of a reason to cut certain people out of your will? If the reasons are seemingly discriminatory, (such as based on gender, race, sexuality, social class, or otherwise) does the court have the discretion to decide on your behalf? To understand the extent of your autonomy in your will, it is highly beneficial to understand the bounds of contemporary community standards in BC court.
Estate Grants - Administration
An estate grant of Administration is a grant by the Supreme Court appointing an individual to act as the administrator of the estate. This grant is typically necessary if the deceased dies without a will (intestate). A Grant of Administration gives an administrator the official right and recognition to act on behalf of the estate.
How do I determine who will be my child's guardian?
There are often challenges when someone dies without a Will, but it can be particularly problematic if the person who has died is a parent and guardian of a minor child.