M. Gaylanne Phelan, B.A., J.D.
Gaylanne was one of the first estates lawyers to promote civil justice reform through alternative dispute resolution. She has mediated approximately 200 estates disputes, most of which have settled successfully. Convinced from her experience as an estates lawyer that the courts were not the most appropriate forum for dealing with disputes of this kind, she co-founded the former Centre for Estate Mediation (the first dedicated estate mediation practice in Ontario) in 1999, at the time of the introduction of mandatory mediation for estates disputes in the Toronto Court system. She is also a co-founder of The Estate Mediation Group, formed in 2010.
Gaylanne practiced law in the area of estates, trusts and substitute decisions from 1978 to 2018, most recently as Counsel to Wilson Vukelich LLP. She has assisted a wide range of clients with their complex estate plans, including at the tax and corporate levels. She has acted as executor and trustee of large Canadian estates, as director of their affiliated business corporations, and as attorney for property for their owners. She closed her law practice in January 2019, and now restricts her business activities to her alternative dispute resolution practice.
Gaylanne is a Past-President and Privileged Member of the Estate Planning Council of Toronto. Later, as Vice-President of the Ontario Bar Association's ADR Section, she was the Board's representative on the OBA's Civil Justice Reform Task Force. She has been a guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School in its Alternative Dispute Resolution programme. She has written, lectured and been interviewed frequently on estate mediation matters.
Since 1999, Gaylanne has successfully mediated disputes on many estate-related subjects, including:
- Will challenges.
- Capacity issues.
- Spouse's claims against an estate.
- Claims by other dependents against an estate.
- Elder care, and personal and health care decisions.
- Asset management under powers of attorney.
- Funeral and burial arrangements.
- Claims for services rendered to a deceased person.
- Accounting by, and compensation of, estate trustees.
- Claims by creditors of insolvent estates.
- Early winding up of trusts.
- Family businesses.
- Family cottages.
- Assets passing by survivorship.
- Divisions of jewellery, artwork, and household items.
Gaylanne will mediate or facilitate in either English or French.
HOW TO BOOK AN ESTATE MEDIATION WITH GAYLANNE
Click here for Gaylanne's fees for estate mediation services.
To book an estate mediation with Gaylanne, whether the mediation is voluntary or mandated under Rule 75.1., interested counsel are invited to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Opposing counsel confer on dates mutually convenient to them and their clients, as well as a potential location for the mediation.
- Step 2: Contact Gaylanne with your mutually agreeable dates by email at email@example.com.
- Step 3: Gaylanne or her assistant will contact you to confirm your chosen date.
- Step 4: Reserve your chosen date with Gaylanne by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 416-579-7555, providing the name of the Estate and the names of Counsel.
- Step 5: When you reserve your date (or shortly thereafter) please send Gaylanne relevant case details so she can prepare the necessary paperwork:
- i. The complete names of the parties and the capacity in which they will be participating.
- ii. The name and contact information for all Counsel (and any unrepresented parties), including e-mail addresses.
- iii. If litigation has been commenced, the Title of Proceedings, Court File Number and jurisdiction.
- iv. A copy of any Order(s) Giving Directions governing the mediation under Rule 75.1.
- v. The agreed-upon location, preferably a neutral location such as a Court Reporter's Office.
- Step 6: Upon receipt of relevant case details, Gaylanne will e-mail counsel the following:
Barry S. Corbin, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B.
Barry was one of the earliest advocates of mediation as an effective means to resolve disputes in estate and trust matters, presenting a paper on the subject at the Law Society of Upper Canada's 1996 Special Lectures on Estates. As a member of the Estates Subcommittee of the Attorney General's Civil Rules Committee, he participated in formulation of the special mandatory mediation rule for estate disputes (Rule 75.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure). More...