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How does a verbal agreement stay after the death of one of the parties to it?

Civil Law

Antonio Flores Vila

30th of April 2000

Q. My father-in-law made a verbal agreement to sell some stones from a ruined house on his land. He died recently; the money was never paid and the stones are still there. The purchaser wants to proceed with the sale. Can we, the inheritors, avoid the contract?

Michael Smith
La Coruna

    A. If your dad made a verbal agreement, it would be very difficult to prove such agreement took place, unless obviously there are more witnesses other than yourselves, the inheritors. If you accept the inheritance, then you assume the assets left by your dad. However, as universal heirs, you also take over his debts, if any, and the obligations or contracts he entered into, unless it is a personal obligation, such as a contract to, say, elaborate an artistic piece of work.

    If the person with whom your dad entered into the sales contract sues you, he will have to prove the existence of the agreement in order to enforce it, and this could be difficult. But bear in mind that as heirs who have accepted the inheritance, you now assume the position of your dad.

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