What happens when the owner of a land contract dies? 36 Answers as of August 27, 2012

I entered into a land contract with a gentleman who passed away last week; I am up to date and have kept up the contract. This was a basic land contract but had no mention of what would happen should he pass away, well he did. His daughter is the executor of his will and she told me that I have to pay the remaining 19,000 in full or move so she can divide his properties between the other 8 children. Do I still have a binding contract with the estate and can she make me do that, what happens to all monies I have spent to make this place livable?

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Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
The death of the maker of the land contract does not terminate the contract. It is still enforceable according to its terms so you should continue to make the payments you are obligated to make. This might be a good time for you to try to get financing to pay off the contract and try to negotiate a discount for early payoff of the contract.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
It depends on what the written contract (and there needs to be this document for a valid agreement regarding property) states. Also, you may seek recourse through the individual's heirs.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/13/2012
Law Office of Anthony Roach | Anthony Allen Roach
If you are talking about a land sale installment contract, rather than a standard purchase contract, I would say the estate is bound by it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/13/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
You do have a contract that you can enforce, you need to talk with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/13/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
A lot depends on the paperwork. Does the contract say words to the effect of "this contract is binding on the parties' "heirs, successors and assigns"? If so, the. The executor must honor the contract.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/13/2012
    Casler Law Offices PLLC | Carl Casler
    A "land contract," which is also called an "agreement for sale" and a "contract for deed," may or may not be binding on the heirs. The language of the agreement you signed will control. Look for the words "heirs" in your agreement or have a real estate attorney look at it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    The executor should be bound by the contract unless there is something in the contract which allows for acceleration under the circumstances. You should consult a real estate attorney to have the contract and all relevant facts reviewed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Law Offices of Michael N. Stafford | Michael N. Stafford
    I would suggest that you immediately consult with an attorney with regard to your rights and remedies. Land /sale contracts are not encouraged for these reasons. Without reviewing the contract and having more information I can not advise you further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    I would have to review your land contract to give a more informed response. At this point you should still have an enforceable land contract with the estate. Most land contracts have provisions that bind all representatives and executors after death.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    You have binding contract with estate. Go into court and have it approved.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    LAW OFFICE OF JEFFREY Z DWORIN
    LAW OFFICE OF JEFFREY Z DWORIN | JEFFREY Z DWORIN
    The land contract continues on its own terms except that the payments are made to the personal representative. Unless the contract itself calls for acceleration, there is no acceleration. Make the payments to the "Estate of" the vendor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    The contract is still in place. So, you still have to pay for the property, just like you promised. And the estate has to give you a deed... (after you pay in full) just like the gentleman promised.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Find out who is the executor of his estate. he will be who you deal with. You must file your interest in probate court or you could lose out.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Halperin Law Offices | Ivan Halperin
    Generally speaking, the man's estate takes the property subject to the contract, which you're entitled to fulfill. It's not really possible to give you a precise answer without reviewing the document.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Contact and Attorney Immediately.. you do not have to pay it all or move... she is giving you bad information!If you are paying on time and not in arrears you simply have a new payee.. you pay to the estate.. presumably the daughter if she is the personal representative of her dad's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You have a binding contract, she just wants to close out the estate and does not know what to do with the contract.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Behren Law Firm
    Behren Law Firm | Scott Behren
    You would need to have a lawyer look at the contract and research the issue.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    James T. Dunn PC | James T. Dunn
    The agreement is binding on the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    His daughter has no standing to do anything. The estate needs to appoint an executor or administrator until then the contract is in limbo. You need a detailed consult with a real estate attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    It would be my opinion that you have a binding contract and, if so, you do not have to accede to her demands. Contact a lawyer to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    You need to immediately contact a qualified real estate attorney. The terms of the contract are binding, and usually are binding on the heirs and assigns of the contract, but no one can give you an answer without reading the contract.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Andrew D. Campbell, Attorney at Law | Andrew D. Campbell
    Generally, land contracts will include a provision that states that the contract is binding upon the heirs and assigns of the original parties. However even without such a provision, the land contract remains binding upon the estate of the deceased. The daughter of the deceased has no right under the contract to accelerate the payments due absent a provision in the contract that expressly states she may do so. The estate must continue its obligations as set forth in the contract as if it had executed the agreement itself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Check the contract. The contract terms should be binding on his heirs and administrators. If that is what the contract says she is incorrect.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Chmielik Law Firm, LLC
    Chmielik Law Firm, LLC | Martin Chmielik
    In Missouri, just because a party to a real estate contract passed away, does not mean the contract is void or cancelled. The contract and obligations continue on, and the contract can be specifically enforced against the personal representative of the estate (unless both parties agree to cancel or modify the contract). You may have to file an action in the Probate Court against the Personal Representative if they are refusing to perform the owner's obligations under the contract. So yes, you should still have a binding contract with the owner's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Gordon F. Gault PC | Gordon F Gault
    You have a binding contract. She would have to try to terminate the contract in chancery court and that would not be possible. You should contact an attorney to help you with this.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    The contract is an asset of the estate- it still must be paid to the estate or the heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Jones Jones & Mosley PA
    Jones Jones & Mosley PA | Bernard Jones
    I need to see the "land contract" in order to properly respond to your question.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    You have a binding contract. If one of the contracting parties dies, the estate steps into the decedent's shoes. The fact that you have perfoming under the contract, that is a plus.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    When the land contract vendor died, his interest in the land contract passed to his estate. His estate is bound by the terms and conditions of the land contract. If there is no acceleration clause upon death, then you could continue to make your monthly payments. However, depending on the interest rate of the land contract, you might want to explore the possibility of a mortgage which might give you a lower rate. Even if the daughter is nominated as personal representative in the decedent's will, she will have to start a probate estate in order to be granted power to act. The Will itself is like a road map telling the personal representative what to do. Only a Probate Court can grant a personal representative the power to do it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Jason P. Wapiennik, PLC and Great Lakes Customs Law | Jason P. Wapiennik
    That's an interesting question. I believe that the Estate of the man with whom the land contract is with must honor the terms of the land contract, unless the land contract says that the debt can be accelerated. Even then, you may have recourse to challenge an acceleration provisions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    The asset of the estate is the land contract, not the property. As long as you are current you are okay.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Sultan Law Office | Gregory Sultan
    The estate needs to honor the land contract. I would suggest that you look at the figures as to how much you owe and see if she will give a discount if you do pay it off now. If you had an attorney when you did the contract, contact the attorney. Many times documents to complete the transfer are placed in an escrow for just such an event as the seller dying or moving away.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Brett Pedersen & Associates
    Brett Pedersen & Associates | Brett Alexander Pedersen
    Such an agreement would usually be binding, especially if you have partially performed. Are there provisions in the contract re successors or death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    The Estate must comply with the terms of the Contract.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/10/2012
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