Estate of Pattie Welder Edwards - Page 10

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          terms of the existing leases and Texas law required extensions              
          and modifications of the lease agreement to be in writing.                  
               Respondent further argues that the postdeath leases were               
          created to reduce the value of decedent’s assets for estate tax             
          purposes because Edwards and Carson were both the coexecutors and           
          devisees of decedent’s estate and, as the owners of the ranch               
          properties, would not have to lease the ranch property from                 
          themselves to maintain control over the ranch properties and                
          continue their ranching operations.  The estate argues that there           
          was a bona fide business purpose in executing the leases, which             
          was to maintain managerial control over the ranch properties.               
          The estate explains that Edwards and Carson, the devisees of the            
          ranch properties, would have joint ownership of both the ranch              
          properties, as coexecutors and devisees, whereas the purpose of             
          the leases was to grant an exclusive possessory right to a                  
          particular ranch property to each child.                                    
               Based on the testimony offered by the estate, we are not               
          persuaded that decedent granted oral options that extended the              
          existing leases indefinitely.  In regards to the oral options,              
          Edwards testified on examination by the estate’s counsel:                   
                    Q    Now, Mr. Edwards, * * * beginning in 1985 was                
               there ever any discussions with your mother,                           
               Mrs. Pattie Welder Edwards, about who was going to                     
               ranch Cotulla and who was going to ranch Sinton?                       
                    A    Well–-                                                       
                    Q    And if so, when did it happen?                               

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