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Rejecting a settlement offer

Fairfield, CA |

the trustee of an estate that I am beneficiary to has offered a terrible settlement offer, it is my understanding that a judge can be involved in probate court as far as overseeing the offer and approving or disapproving the offer. I have rejected the offer as it is unreasonable and falls many thousands short of what is due
we go before the judge in probate soon and I have been unable to secure a lawyer as I have no money. How can I get the court involved in overseeing the settlement offer?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I'm not sure what you think the judge would do: Make the other side offer you more?

    As a general principle of law, no one can make a party to a legal dispute accept a settlement offer that s/he finds unacceptable, and no one can make a party to a lawsuit make an offer by way of settlement that exceeds what the party is willing to pay. Moreover, settlement communications are generally not admissible in evidence before a finder of fact, i.e., a judge in a case where there's no jury.

    Not legal advice, just general principles. Consult local counsel to obtain legal advice tailored to your specific circumstance. I practice in Vermont ONLY.


  2. A judge is not going to substitute for a lawyer in this for you. See if you can retain counsel on a contingency fee basis.

    We can be reached at 215-545-2201. Our firm has lawyers licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in the Federal Courts of those states. The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  3. The trustee is the person who has to appear in court. Is he/she represented by an attorney? If so that is the person you should be talking to. The judge in probate "oversees" the work of the trustee - the Judge will not compel a party to approve or not approve an settlement. If the trustee wishes to accept the settlement offer the judge has a duty to make sure that it is fair and equitable for the trust beneficiaries. I the trustee intends to accept the offer, you can appear in court and tell the judge that your object to the trustees action.

    DISCLAIMER: The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. These responses are intended only to provide general information about perceived legal issues within the question. Each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.