Can I cancel a "will contest" & "trust contest" myself or do I need a lawyer?

Asked 11 months ago - San Diego, CA

I have a lawyer, he filed a will contest and trust contest on my behalf, I'd like to cancel both (I've reached an agreement with my relatives), lawyer is dragging his feet on it and my relatives are getting impatient. Fearing they will rescind on their original agreement, I'd like to do this myself if possible. Is this something I can do? How do I go about it? This is in San Diego, CA.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Robert Weinstein


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney is subject to your instructions. You need to speak with your attorney about withdrawing your contest. Explain to him that you have reached a settlement with your relatives. Ask that he draw up a settlement agreement for filing with the court and a withdrawal of your contests. After everyone signs the settlement file it with the court and ask the court retain jurisdiction so that the court can enforce the terms of the agreement. The court can then dismiss your contests. (all parties should be present at the hearing to inform the judge of their agreement to the settlement) If you attorney will not do as you instruct, it is your right to hire a new attorney who will follow your instructions and substitute out the old attorney.
    I advise against you doing this yourself as the court procedures and the preparation of the settlement and other filings are often too complex for the non attorney.

    Nothing contained in the information on this web site is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Let your lawyer handle it.

  3. Bennet J. Pakdaman

    Contributor Level 4


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Due to the intricacies, it is best to consult a lawyer on the matter.

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am ethically required to state that the answer I have provided you does not create an... more
  4. Alan Sanders Richard

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I agree with the answer provided by Attorney Michael Weinstein. I would add, however, that you need to do more than merely "speak with your attorney about withdrawing your contest." You need to direct him, in writing, to do so. Send a letter (certified mail, return receipt requested), telling him your desired outcome and directing him to withdraw the contest without further delay. If he continues to drag his feet and your relatives do back out of their agreement, I would urge you to consult another attorney and ask if you have a potential malpractice claim against your foot-dragging lawyer.

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