Q: Contract to purchase real estate. Seller passed away.
I have a contract to purchase a residence and the seller passed away a week ago. Do I have any legal way to enforce this contract as her son is harassing me and saying the contract is void and that he is going up on the price etc.
Is the contact still legal and can I purchase for the original contract.
A: I saw this question yesterday, but I passed on it because perhaps one of my colleagues had researched it. I’d have to review the contract and, perhaps, do a bit of research in the jurisdiction involved, but I believe that the binding contracts of a deceased person can be enforced as a claim in probate. It would seem to be more complex if there were remaining contingencies in the contract that the deceased would have been able to exercise. It is a fascinating question, and I’m a bit surprised I haven’t seen it in 37 years of practice. It shouldn’t be difficult or expensive research, and there may be some money -saving strategies to achieve a settlement, but I can’t answer reliably without reading the contract and, perhaps, hitting the library.
A: You need to hire a lawyer. This isn't a do-it-yourself project.
A contract survives death and can be enforced against the estate. And there's a statute that applies Virginia Code 64.2-523 here:https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/chapter5/section64.2-523/
But again, you'll need an experienced lawyer to preserve your rights.
And, as Mr. Sternberg noted, I also saw (and responded to) this or a similar question yesterday.
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