When it comes to easements, there’s a lot to know. In this article, we are going to talk about a few important elements of easements: purpose and termination.
Purpose of the Easement
One of the most important things to understand when drafting an easement is the intentions of the parties. You want to understand the purpose of the easement and include that purpose in the easement agreement. We have seen situations where an easement was granted where the easement was described simply as an easement rather than including its purpose such as for access or road purposes. This can cause a host of problems in the future especially if the parties to the easement have ceased to be cooperative. It’s also important to consider the future consequences of the easement, taking into account the possible development of the land in the future, or the land being subdivided, or additional parties using that easement sometime in the future.
When thinking about the purpose of the easement, it’s important to include the easement’s intended duration. Will the easement be perpetual or is it intended for a shorter duration? This goes back to the intent of the parties and the duration of the easement should be specified in the easement document.
In Minnesota, easements are generally considered perpetual unless terminated. An easement may be terminated by abandonment. As title insurers, we are not in a position to make that determination. We would require a court order determining abandonment. Another method of terminating an easement is by conveyance. An easement may be terminated by having the owners of the benefitted parcel convey the easement back to the owner of the land burdened by the easement.