What Do You Mean My Easement Expired?

An easement is a nonpossessory right to use or enter upon real property of another without actually possessing it. Most easements are created by the owner of a burdened estate (The Grantor) and the result is a benefit to the dominant estate (The Grantee). Once created, the easement is recorded in the county where the property is located.

Easements may terminate after a set amount of years, or once its purpose expires. Many easements “run with the land,” with the intent to provide a benefit indefinitely. However, this intent for indefinite benefits may meet an untimely end due to Wisconsin statutory provisions.

Easements that run with the land expire unless they are re-recorded. Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 893.33(6), written easements recorded on or after July 1, 1980 expire 40 years after their recording date, unless re-recorded. Easements recorded prior to July 1, 1980 expire the earlier of (1) 60 years after their recording date, or (2) 40 years after July 1, 1980, once again, unless they are re-recorded. Once an easement has been re-recorded prior to its expiration date, the use is extended for another 40-year period. The failure to re-record an easement prior to its expiration may allow the Grantor to record a document terminating the easement.

If your property enjoys access by roadway easement, lake access easement, walkway easement, or any other easement rights from nearby property owners, it’s important to review these statutes. Many clients that have enjoyed property passed down over generations may not realize that their rights may expire.

Clair Law is more than capable of assisting you with this determination. Please feel free to contact our office before its too late.