The death9 or insanity10 of either party before acceptance of an offer causes the offer to lapse. An acceptance communicated to the personal representatives of the proposer after his death cannot bind them; nor can the representatives of the person to whom an offer has been made, and who has since died, bind the proposer by accepting it on behalf of the estate. An offer, as we have said, is considered as continuing up to the time of acceptance, but if one of the parties dies, then there is on one by whom or to whom, as the case may be, the offer can be considered as being made.11 The fact that an acceptance is dispatched in ignorance of the proposer's death can make no difference. Since, however, an acceptance by mail takes effect at the moment of its dispatch, the death of the proposer before the receipt of the acceptance, but after it has been mailed, does not cause the offer to lapse, since, before his death, it has been turned into a binding promise by the acceptance.12
So, also, the dissolution of a partnership after an offer has been made by the firm, and before its acceptance, with notice thereof to the person to whom the offer was made, revokes the offer;13 and it would seem that dissolution of a firm to whom an offer is made, before acceptance, must necessarily cause the offer to lapse, as the party to whom the offer was made is no longer in existence.
9 Wallace v. Townsend, 43 Ohio St. 537. 3 N. E. 601, 54 Am. Rep. 829; Mactier's Adm'rs v. Frith, 6 Wend. (N. Y.) 103, 21 Am. Dec. 202; Pratt v. Trustees of Baptist Soc, 93 111. 475, 34 Am. Rep. 187; In re Helfenstein's Estate, 77 Pa. 328, 18 Am. Rep. 449; Frith v. Lawrence, 1 Paige (N. Y.) 434; Blades v. Free, 9 Barn. & C. 107; Campanari v. Woodburn, 15 C. B. 400; Lee v. Griffin, 1 Best & S. 272; Aitkin v. Lang's Adm'r, 106 Ky. 652, 51 S. W. 154, 90 Am. St. Rep. 263; Werner v. Humphreys, 2 Man. & G. 853; Marr v. Shaw (C. C.) 51 Fed. 860. See "Contracts,'" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 19, 20; Cent. Dig. § 58; "Corporations," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 83; Cent. Dig. §§ 328-336; "Subscriptions," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 4, 18; Cent. Dig. §§ 5,20,21.
10 The Palo Alto, 2 Ware, 344, Fed. Cas. No. 10,700; Beach v. First M. E. Church, 96 111. 177. It seems that knowledge of the insanity by the other party is essential. Drew v. Nunn, 4 Q. B. Div. 661; Imperial Loan Co. v. Stone,  1 Q. B. 599. As to validity of contract of insane person, see post, p. 223. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 19; Cent. Dig. § 58.
11 Frith v. Lawrence, supra; Pratt v. Trustees, supra. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 19, 20; Cent. Dig. §§ 57-60, 67-70.
12 Mactier's Adm'rs v. Frith, 6 Wend. (N. Y.) 103, 21 Am. Dec. 2G2. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 19, 20; Cent. Dig. §§ 57-60, 67-70.
13 Goodspeed v. Plow Co., 45 Mich. 322, 7 N. W. 902. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 19; Cent. Dig. §§ 57-60; "Partnership," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 243; Cent. Dig. §§ 510-513.