Attorney DiCarlo was recently featured in Lawyers Weekly about a Superior Court Case where the Judge ruled that a Purchase and Sales Agreement is enforceable against the estate of the deceased seller.
‘Di Carlo said that, “the case serves as reminder that while fiduciaries may have personal liability to estate beneficiaries for failing to obtain the best offer, they also have the obligation of good faith and fair dealing. Not honoring a binding contract to sell property that was made when the decedent was alive in favor of a higher offer, with the excuse that they have a duty to do so is seemingly a breach of their duty to act in good faith and fair dealing. Further, it drags the estate into litigation, possibly further breaching their obligations to the estate.”
She also reminded practitioners that this ruling highlights the importance of including provisions in a real estate contract regarding the death of a party in cases in which the buyer or seller does not want heirs to be bound by the contract. She states, “It is not unusual to see language included in a P&S agreement in which the agreement automatically terminates upon the death of either a buyer or seller,” she said.’
It is important for buyers, sellers and their realtors to understand their legal obligations in the event of the death of a party. As always, not consulting with an attorney can create a larger problem. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Noel with any questions you may have about the case!