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Standard User zom22
(member) Fri 12-Jun-15 17:35:10
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MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[link to this post]
 
Can someone from Zen look at this one:
Thread on the MSE broadband sub-forum about Zen 'acting up' over the death of a subscriber.
See Contract cancellation on death
Does it have to be explained in large letters to you (Zen)
CONTRACTS ARE VOID ON DEATH
You cannot claim cancellation charges off the estate/executor as there is no contract to cancel.
The executor has even offered to send you the death certificate.......
Standard User AAuser27
(member) Fri 12-Jun-15 21:08:37
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
Oooooh A litigation open drain when it comes to money for Zen.

Best to action it - much much cheaper.
Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Fri 12-Jun-15 21:41:49
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
What you say, that death voids contracts, is untrue in most cases. Some contracts are void on death (like the provision of a personal service), but in general contracts which involve a financial commitment do not, unless they contain specific terms. It is then a matter for the deceased's estate to settle early termination clauses.

For instance, if you die whilst you have an outstanding loan on a car, then the balance is still recoverable from the deceased person's estate.

So the actual position depends on the nature of the contract.

Note, I'm not commenting on Zen's position, or even anything specific to this case. However, what is definitely wrong is to state that a contract is necessarily void on death. In most cases it will be terminated with whatever rules are established for its early ending. A contract being voided (which means it is treated, as far as possible, as if it never existed and is not enforceable in law) and a contract being terminated are very different things.

Edited by TheEulerID (Fri 12-Jun-15 21:51:34)


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Standard User AdrianPH
(newbie) Sat 13-Jun-15 09:18:44
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by zom22:
Does it have to be explained in large letters to you (Zen)
CONTRACTS ARE VOID ON DEATH
You cannot claim cancellation charges off the estate/executor as there is no contract to cancel.
The executor has even offered to send you the death certificate.......


Absolute nonsense ......... the contract stands and as stated the executor needs to finalise the account.

What do you think happens to utility bills like gas and electric?

Until the property is sold and handed to another owner, all utilities used have to be paid for.
Standard User RichTea23
(learned) Sat 13-Jun-15 10:04:21
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: AdrianPH] [link to this post]
 
I would guess the person had FTTC services, as such Zen will be passing on the cancellation fee changed to them by BT (Wholesale/Openreach).

Indeed Death does not void contracts, or life insurance (and other such) company's would be useless.

The people commenting on the MSE (and this) site are not legal advisers.

Various (Dile up) -> clara.net (Dile up) -> TELE2 (Microwave) -> ZeN (ADSL)
Standard User zom22
(member) Sat 13-Jun-15 10:09:22
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: AdrianPH] [link to this post]
 
The MSE thread is about TERMINATION charges not charges for services supplied.

Or for another example if the deceased had a 5 year 'savings bond' with a building society with penalties for early withdrawal during the term then upon death all those penalties vanish and the executor can withdraw the money penalty free to pay out the estate.
Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Sat 13-Jun-15 10:38:55
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
You were the user of the term "voided". Early termination is a wholly different thing, and with most contracts it will be the early termination conditions that are invoked in the case of death. There may be specific conditions specified in the contract for such eventualities. In the case of fixed term bonds, there is no single answer. As this adviser states, most providers will not insist that the bond goes to maturity, but that cannot be guaranteed. In any event, there's no sense in which any such contract is "voided" as you claimed.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2...

The type of contract that will be voided is those where the deceased is unable to provide a service. Clearly if a painter contracted to produce a portrait, that can't be legally enforced. In that case the contract can be considered "void". Otherwise it remains in force and is settled according to the terms of the contract and any policies of the other contracted party.
Standard User keymaster
(member) Sat 13-Jun-15 11:52:43
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
Hi
Recently had very similar with family member and had to settle all utilitly contracts and had to pay termination fee etc with Plusnet, so I believe posters on MSE are not correct.
K

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 13-Jun-15 13:06:22
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: zom22] [link to this post]
 
The contract is with the legal person which the live human chooses to represent through out their life, for the purpose civil interaction with our established society. Whilst the live human is dead, the legal person and the estate associated with that legal person still has to be overseen by executors for allowing it to settle with any creditors, suppliers and any contracts involved with those entities.

So I personally believe the commenters on MSE are wrong. Although what I believe and what is legal fact is of course very different. smile

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Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 13-Jun-15 13:36:13
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Re: MSE thread on deceased Zen subscriber


[re: TheEulerID] [link to this post]
 
In the law of England and Wales, contracts are terminated by performance, agreement, breach or frustration. In most cases, contracts are performed in full, or are terminated by agreement - either by exercise of termination rights in the original contract, or by a further contract that amends the original contract and brings the contract to an end.


Voidability often relates to termination by breach. If there is a repudiatory breach, such as a breach of a major term known as a condition, the innocent party has the right to terminate the contract, or to affirm the contract and pursue the counterparty for damages. As such, the contract can be thought of a voidable.

There are other circumstances that make a contract voidable, including misrepresentation, undue influence or duress.

There is no general rule that death of a party makes a contract voidable.

In reply to a post by TheEulerID:
What you say, that death voids contracts, is untrue in most cases. Some contracts are void on death (like the provision of a personal service), but in general contracts which involve a financial commitment do not, unless they contain specific terms. It is then a matter for the deceased's estate to settle early termination clauses.
Provision of a personal service that becomes impossible after the provider's death will frustrate the contract.

In reply to a post by TheEulerID:
For instance, if you die whilst you have an outstanding loan on a car, then the balance is still recoverable from the deceased person's estate.

So the actual position depends on the nature of the contract.
Quite right - in general, all obligations, liabilities and benefits pass to the estate after death.

In reply to a post by TheEulerID:
Note, I'm not commenting on Zen's position, or even anything specific to this case. However, what is definitely wrong is to state that a contract is necessarily void on death. In most cases it will be terminated with whatever rules are established for its early ending. A contract being voided (which means it is treated, as far as possible, as if it never existed and is not enforceable in law) and a contract being terminated are very different things.
As you rightly say, if there are express termination provisions applying to death, they will take effect. If not, the contract likely remains in force with the estate standing in the place of the deceased party.

In this case, the MSE thread says there has been a fire at the address served. I haven't thought about this in detail, though it is possible the fire frustrates the contract. That said, if there is any insurance on the property that covers inability to use services after fire, I'd leave the matter with the insurers to sort, letting them worry about whether to consider the legal ramifications of the situation or negotiate termination arrangements with Zen.

Edited by David_W (Sat 13-Jun-15 15:35:43)

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