Sunday, March 17, 2019
William A. Drennan recently published an Article entitled, Burying Contracts of the Dead, Probate and Property Magazine, Vol. 33 No. 2, March/April 2019. Provided below is the introduction to the Article.
Generally, contracts of the dead survive to haunt the living; the executor or other successor must perform the decedent's remaining contractual duties. A major exception is that personal service obligations dies at death. As a result, executors, their attorneys, and courts may need to decide if contractual obligations are personal or impersonal. Sometimes, performing a contact that appears to be impersonal would be economic senselessness for one or both sides. This may occur if the executor or other successor is unskilled at the business of the dead, or the deal simply makes no sense post-death for one or both sides.
This article highlights cases in which the decedent's remaining contractual duties appeared impersonal, but the court characterized those obligations as personal services or otherwise discharged the obligations. These precedents may help attorneys steer their clients from economic senselessness.