Court Rules: You Die, You Buy


The Supreme Court of New York recently ruled that even dead people must close on real estate deals they initiate.

Glennette Altman signed a contract in May 2005 to buy a co-op in an 89-unit building on Manhattan's Upper East Side for $2.3 million in cash. Before she could move in-or even finish the paperwork for closing-she died in September 2005 after suffering a stroke. Within the month, her heirs asked the sellers to return a $230,000 down payment. The sellers said no, if Altman's estate did not close on the property it would be in default.

And so the matter went to court–for four years–with appeal following upon appeal until this final ruling was issued in December.

Of course, the whole brouhaha could have been avoided had the buyer made one change to her contract.