GLOSSARY: ESTATE LITIGATION &GUARDIANSHIP

  • Estate:  The total of an individual's assets less all debts, except for: jointly owned assets, pensions or life insurance policies that have a specific beneficiary, and gifts and legacies left to others in the individual's will.
  • Negotiation: Negotiations allow the parties to agree to an outcome which is mutually satisfactory. The actual terms of the agreement must be concluded by the parties and can be as broad or as specific as the parties desire. A negotiated settlement can be recorded in the form of an agreement.
  • Mediation: Simply put, mediation is negotiation between disputing parties, assisted by a neutral. While the mediator is not empowered to impose a settlement, the mediator's presence alters the dynamics of the negotiation and often helps shape the final settlement.
  • Business Succession: Succession is the orderly passage of power, assets, or other property from one entity to another. Legal rules documents govern succession with regard to the assets of estates after a person dies.
  • Estate Administration: Refers to the actions necessary to guide an Estate through the probate process. This involves paying off any debts, closing accounts, and distributing property to heirs after someone has died.
  • Contentious Passing of Accounts: The process for obtaining Court approval of the accounts as kept by the estate trustee. In most cases, the beneficiaries of an estate will approve, or consent to, the accounts as kept by the estate trustee because it avoids the time and expense of a court application.
  • Guardianship: Application in order to make personal care decisions on behalf of a mentally incapable adult. This usually happens when the person doesn't have a power of attorney for personal care or if their attorney is not able or willing to fulfill their duties.