Indirect Revocation and Termination by Death of Offers

In a learned and useful article, entitled “The Duration and Termination of an Offer,”1 by Professor Oliphant, which appeared in the January, 192o number of MICHIGAN LAW RvmIW, the nature of an offer to make a simple contract was considered as well as the question of when such an offer can be regarded as either revoked, or terminated. It is pointed out that where the actual state of mind of the offerer is different from his apparent state of mind that “the former must be ignored, and whenever -they happen to be identical that it may be ignored without effecting results ordinarily.”2 In other words, the test to ‘be applied in determining whether or not there is an offer in existence, which can be accepted is, could the offeree, as a reasonable man, when he attempted to accept the offer believe that there was one open? Did the offeree, at such time, have a right to believe from what the offerer had said or done, that the latter was in a contractual frame of mind? No one, at this stage of the development of the Law of Simple Contracts, would be disposed to question the soundness of this general principle, nor to determine in any given case the existence, or non-existence of an offer in any other way. It is believed, however, that a further application of this test to the cases of indirect and casual revocations of offers, and a consideration of the cases, which deal with the death of an offerer before the offer’s acceptance may well be profitable. It is, accordingly, the purpose of this article to give these situations some further brief attention.