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University of Missouri Bulletin Law Series

Authors

James L. Parks

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Occasionally an offeree will attempt to accept an offer within its life as originally stated, but the act which he regards as an acceptance, and which usually would have been effective as such, is done after the death of his offeror. On this state of facts courts in the past have generally held that no contract could result from the offerce's efforts. The rule was to the effect that the offeror's death terminated his offer and his offeree's legal power to bind his estate to the bargain originally proffered. The reasons assigned to support this proposition are that every contract must result from a meeting of the parties' minds; an offeror's death renders him incapable to assent to anything; therefore, an attempted acceptance after his death can not effect a binding agreement within the accepted definition of that term. This conclusion is inevitable if actual mutual assent is requisite to the formation of a simple contract. But, as will be hereinafter shown, modern authority does not insist that an offeror and offeree must really be in agreement to bind themselves contractually. Accordingly, if an offeror's death is to be regarded as ending his offer, such a rule will have to be based upon some other premise or principle.

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