Is a contract voided upon the death of one of the parties to it?

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Is a contract voided upon the death of one of the parties to it?

A landowner (Party 1) of a large tract of pasture land died and his family sold the tract to a buyer (Party 2). I then bought 20% of the property. Now, a local farmer is claiming that he had a contract for rent with Party 1 to pasture cattle on the property; he is threatening to sue myself and Party 2 if we don’t allow him to rent the property for pasture. Was the rent contract with Party 1 void upon their death?

Asked on May 28, 2014 under Business Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Maury Beaulier / MinnesotaLawyers.com

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends on the terms of the contract.  Often, a countract will provide remedies as to what occurs should there be a death to a party. 

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, death does not void a valid contract.  What can happen is that death makes performance of the contract by one of the parties impossible which could result in the same thing.  I would speak with an attorney as soon as you can.  The farmer could sue the estate for performance of the contract but it will depend on the contract itself and local statutes.  Good luck.  


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