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contracts and death / how many copies of contract / ISC schedule
April 2, 2019
Notice:  ISC West.  Private meeting times are booked.  Concierge Clients should call our  Concierge Program Coordinator Stacy Spector,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304 to arrange a private meeting and consultation. 
Open Meet and greet schedule at ISC:
Wednesday 11:00 am – COPS booth ; 2:30 pm – Avant guard booth; 3:30 pm – All American Monitoring booth
Thursday 11:00 am – Rapid booth;  2:30 pm – J. Krug booth  
contracts and death
    I have a question. Regarding the residential agreement. A customer asked if I could put in language stating that upon his death that the contract was void. My question is, the agreement is with the subscriber. Upon the demise of said subscriber, isn't the contract void anyway?
If not, can I add something to appease this individual? 
    "Upon the death of the subscriber, this agreement is no longer valid and services will be terminated. Services will be restored upon entering into a new agreement with the survivor?"
    Absent a statute or language in the contract to the contrary, an alarm contract survives the death of the subscriber. Some states have statutes that terminate a PERS contract upon death of the subscriber and the Standard Form PERS contract does have such a provision.
    But alarm contracts for residential and commercial accounts are not affected by the death of the subscriber. Another question that arises is what happens when the corporate officer who signed the contract on behalf of the corporation dies; or what happens of the Managing Agent for real property gets replaced by a new Managing Agent? Answer is the same, the contract is not affected; it remains enforceable. 
    When a party to a contract dies his or her estate becomes liable for the contractual obligation. If there is no estate then there will be no recovery. Where there is an estate the alarm company needs to sue the decedent's personal representative, called an Executor, Personal Representative or some other fiduciary designation used in the state. Obligations of a decedent need to be paid before beneficiaries are paid their inheritance. 
    OK, that's the law, but you can always agree to relieve your subscriber of further obligation upon death. That might be the right thing to do if the subscriber lives alone and would have no need for the security once dead. You might want to point out to the subscriber that even if the subscriber dies there may be others living in the premises and there may be a reason to retain security in the premises. Why would the subscriber want the fire alarm terminated if there is a house with equity?
    Your stab a drafting legal terminology concerns me. Even if you want to let the subscriber out upon death, we don't wan the contract to "no longer be valid? What if the death was by intruder or fire and the alarm didn't work? The subscriber's estate sues the alarm company. When the alarm company offers the contract as a defense the estate argues that the contract became "invalid" upon the death of the subscriber.
    So we don't want the contract to be invalid, we want the contract to "terminate as if the term had expired", and we want to terminate services. 
how many copies of contract
    Question regarding the contracts. I see that you recommend triplicate copies for a cancellation form.
    With regards to the other forms (like the ALL IN ONE Residential Security Sale Agreement), is a single copy OK? And     I'm assuming it should always be signed in person, vs sending the agreement as an email, which the customer could sign and then email back? Or is it not so important?
    Contracts do not have to be signed in person; you can email or mail them. Scanned copies or faxed copies are fine. What is important is that a residential customer be given a fully executed copy of the contract at time of signing, or at time the contract is to be considered fully executed. For example, if you sign a single copy at the subscriber house and tell them that you will mail them a fully executed copy, the execution of that contract will not be complete until the subscriber gets the fully executed copy by mail or email. 
    The cancellation notice needs to be given at time contract is signed. The residential customer gets two copies so they can mail one back [this doesn't apply to electronic contracts]. You need that third copy so you can get the customer to initial the third copy for your records as proof you provided the form.
    You don't have to give a commercial customer a signed copy of the contract. It is deemed signed when it's executed and you can send a copy in the mail or email later.
The Standard Form Agreements do have execution instructions; just follow the contract terms.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301