Good Morning All! A cousin of mine passed recently who owned land and minerals. Her will is in probate now. All of our leases will be due for renewing (hopefully) in the next couple of months. Can her leases be renewed by the executor of her estate?
No one simple answer on this. Depends on the state, what powers have been given to the executor by the court, and if the will (if any) grants or restricts authority.
It depends on the state where the minerals are located and the terms of the will. The question is whether the executor has the legal authority to bind the interests of the beneficiaries past the end of the estate. Some wills explicitly set out the authority of the executor to handle oil and gas matters, including leases. You may need to consult with an oil and gas attorney, depending on the knowledge of the attorney helping with the estate. This will not preclude the other individual owners from signing new leases on their minerals. This is one reason that some families place minerals into a jointly owned LP or LLC with an agreement which includes power to lease and manage the land. Business continues without interruption, including no suspension of income, as only the shares pass through the will and probate.
Some states probate statutes require a court order if heirs don’t consent.