Beall v. Beall

434 A.2d 1015 (Md. 1981)

 

RULE:

The death of an offeror revokes his offer or causes his offer to lapse. Death terminates the power of the deceased offeror to act. Therefore, after death, the formation of that apparent state of mind of the parties which is embodied in an expression of mutual consent is rendered impossible.

FACTS:

A buyer brought an action for specific performance to force a sale of land. The husband and wife owned the property as tenants by the entirety. The trial court ruled in favor of the seller and the court of appeals reversed. The seller sought review of the court of appeals decision.

ISSUE:

Did a bare offer by husband and wife to sell land held as tenants by the entirety survive the death of one of the tenants?

ANSWER:

No

CONCLUSION:

The court held that there was a binding agreement between the parties. The court found that all the elements of a binding contract were evidenced in writing and consideration was provided by the buyer's forbearance. The court found the central question was whether a bare offer by husband and wife to sell land held as tenants by the entirety survived the death of one of the tenants. The court held that the offer lapsed upon the death of one of the tenants and therefore, no enforceable contract was formed between the parties.

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