Are you legally bound to a trust settlement offer once made?

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Are you legally bound to a trust settlement offer once made?

I am the successor Trustee of my father’s estate. Recently my lawyer submitted a settlement offer to the other side’s lawyer, but the offer he/she made is no where near what we had discussed. Am I legally committed to that settlement agreement? The offer was made by my lawyer in the form of a letter she sent to the other side’s attorney, which he/she did not give me an opportunity to review. I thought the terms he/she and I discussed were merely parameters which he/she would use to negotiate, but the settlement offer he/she ultimately made without me goes way beyond what I intended.

Asked on September 6, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are in a pickle but it is one that your attorney needs to fix.  Ultimately you have the right to reject or accept settlement offers and your attorney miscommunicated the offer.  So now, they have to fix it.  They have to send out another letter indicating that the offer that was previously forwarded was done so in error and without client approval. And they need to do it fast.  However the attorney wants to put it so that it is one them and not you - clerical error on the part of the office as the letter was to be sent in draft to you for approval and inadvertently went to them - you do not care.  It just needs to be done.  You need to send your attorney an e-mail or letter in writing indicating that this offer was not approved by you and that it send to be rectified immediately  Good luck.


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