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Even though the standard form of Residential Contract of Sale from November of 2000 (“Residential Contract”), the Contract of Sale for a Condominium Unit from 2000 (the “Condo Contract”) and the Contract of Sale for a Cooperative Apartment from July of 2001 (the “Coop Contract”) were all jointly prepared by the various sections and committees of the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York it is interesting some of the clauses that are absent when comparing them. One such clause is the “death of purchaser clause” that is present in the Coop Contract but missing from the others.

Section 23.2 of the Coop Contract states as follows:

This Contract shall terminate upon the death of all persons comprising Purchaser and the Contract Deposit shall be refunded to the Purchaser. Upon making such refund and reimbursement, neither Party shall have any further liability or claim against the other hereunder, except as set forth in Par. 12.

Why such a clause is missing from the Residential Contract and Condo Contract when all of the forms were prepared around the same time by the same sections and committees of the various bar associations remains a mystery. The good news is that you don’t need those meddling kids from Scooby Doo to solve this one. Have your attorney, preferably Scott Stone, P.C., put this clause in their standard purchaser’s rider to the Residential Contract and Condo Contract to protect your interests in case of catastrophe.

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