As baby boomers reach their 70’s and 80’s there will be a significant wealth transfer from them to their children. Only 50% of Canadians have wills and only 30% have Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements. All of this will result in a significant increase in estate litigation as families struggle to determine the wishes of their aging and dying parents.
An alternative to litigation is mediation and it is being used more and more to resolve issues that arise between family members. It can decrease the costs for families and achieve a resolution in a timely and efficient manner. The main benefit, however, is that it is much less adversarial and it can allow family members to create settlements that they can accept rather than having a resolution imposed by a judge.
Another benefit is that mediation is a process they can return to more than once if other issues arise as the family member ages. For example, a mediator could help resolve the developing issues of the care that is required.
Deborah A. Todd