Do I have to Q go ahead with the purchase?
My late husband selected a motorbike from a dealership, paying a deposit, and then the balance shortly before he died. I said that I could not accept the bike and the garage owner informed me that he would ‘sort something out’ and return the money. The bike was not registered in my husband’s name. The garage owner is now reluctant to return the money. How do I stand legally?
Mrs V Burroughes, email
The big issue here is that A the contract was formed between your late husband and the garage and you are unable to undo the contract. This is further complicated in that the bike is property falling under your late husband’s Estate. He may have left a will specifying that the bike should go to a certain person in the event of his death and such a wish must be honoured as long as he had mental capacity to make a will and was not coerced.
If there is no specific provision within his will then the Executor of his Estate is under a duty to maximise the value of the Estate for the benefit of the Beneficiaries, and as such will seek to sell the bike to realise the value of the asset. If there is no provision in the will regarding the bike and you are the Executor and sole Beneficiary, then you are free to do as you please with all property and cash left to you.
You will either need to rely on the goodwill of the garage as they may be prepared to refund the money; or, depending on the will, the motorcycle can be sold by the Estate.
‘Unfortunately you will be unable to undo the contract’