Estate of Pattie Welder Edwards - Page 14

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          provided for by decedent in her last will and testament that                
          appoints her children to serve as coexecutors and devises her fee           
          interest in the ranch properties to her children.                           
               There is no persuasive evidence that decedent granted oral             
          options to extend or to modify the existing lease terms or that             
          the postdeath leases reflect the terms of oral options.  The                
          testimony does not identify any specific discussion among                   
          decedent, Edwards, and Carson where decedent granted the right to           
          lease the ranch properties indefinitely to Edwards and Carson.              
          Our conclusion that no oral agreement was made is supported by              
          the following:  (1) Decedent and her children had a history and             
          pattern of executing written leases, (2) the postdeath leases               
          contained different terms from existing leases, (3) the existing            
          leases, including one executed only 4 months before decedent’s              
          death, required extensions and modifications to be in writing,              
          and (4) decedent’s children continued to maintain control over              
          the ranch properties as the coexecutors and devisees of                     
          decedent’s estate.                                                          
               Because we have concluded that no oral options existed at              
          the time of decedent’s death, the postdeath leases are only                 
          agreements executed by Edwards and Carson as the coexecutors of             
          decedent’s estate subsequent to the date of decedent’s death.               
          The postdeath leases reflect only the arrangement between Edwards           
          and Carson regarding the use of the ranch properties.  Because              

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Last modified: May 25, 2011