Death of commercial agent or principal
If the commercial agent or principal dies during the agency agreement, the influence this has on the agreement is regulated by law. This concerns both the agreement for a definite period and for an indefinite period.
Assignment ends automatically when commercial agent dies
The agency agreement ends automatically upon the death of the commercial agent. The reason for this is that what matters to the commercial agent is his/her personal conduct. However, the parties can make a different agreement about this. Upon the death of the commercial agent, the heirs, employer and/or partner of the commercial agent must ensure the interests of the principal are not seriously harmed by the sudden end of the assignment given to the commercial agent. This means that, insofar as they are aware of the assignment, they must inform the principal of the death of the commercial agent.
Power of termination in the event of the principal’s death
For the principal, the company is usually the determining factor for the agency agreement rather than the person. In principle, therefore, the agreement does not end with the death of the principal. However, both the heirs and the commercial agent are authorised to terminate the agreement within nine months of the death. In this case, a termination notice period of four months must be observed.
There is no mandatory law. The parties can therefore agree on something else. For example, that the agency agreement does end automatically upon the death of the principal. In this case, the commercial agent must do everything required by the circumstances in the interest of the principal’s heirs. In this case, the commercial agent must take into account, among other things, the interests of these heirs to prevent them from being harmed by the sudden end of the assignment. For example, performing certain acts, including informing the heirs of the end of the agency agreement.