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  6. What should I do if my client dies before completion is due to take place?

What should I do if my client dies before completion is due to take place?

I act for a cash buyer in a conveyancing transaction and exchanged contracts last week. Unfortunately, my client has since died, and completion is due to take place next week. What should I do?

The personal representatives (PRs) step into the shoes of the deceased and will be required to complete the contract.

It is likely that some delay in completion may be experienced because the purchase deed will have to be redrafted to reflect the change in parties and the PRs cannot complete until the grant of representation has been issued.

Where appropriate, consideration should be given to obtaining an expedited grant of probate.

The PRs may feel that they no longer wish to proceed with a transaction where the deceased intended to purchase the house for his own occupation. However, unless the seller agrees, they will be bound to complete or face an action in damages from the seller.

For further information, please see the Law Society's Conveyancing Handbook (24th edition).

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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