In cases where a decedent has left a valid will and real estate property in Texas that needs to be transferred, your Texas probate lawyer may recommend that the will be probated as a Muniment of Title.
The term “Muniment” means claim of rights to property. Your Texas probate attorney will recommend a Muniment of Title as an easier, less expensive way of settling the estate when there is a will and the decedent only had real estate property in Texas.
There are certain conditions that must be met for you to be able to transfer property in Texas, without appointing an executor through a Muniment of Title.
- There must be a valid will;
- The court must have jurisdiction over the estate and the citation that has been served and returned.
- The estate of the testator must have no unpaid debts, except debts that are secured by liens on the estate
- There is no need for administration of the estate.
Why do I need a Muniment of Title?
EXAMPLE: A person has died leaving behind real property in Texas in his name. Now, this property cannot be sold or leased without the person’s signature on the documents. The name of the decedent must, therefore, be removed from the title in order to allow his heirs to sell or transfer the property. A Muniment of Title allows the heirs of the property to do exactly that.
In a Texas Muniment of Title proceeding, there is no need for the appointment of an executor. When the court issues an order, it can serve as a legal authority to all the heirs who have a stake in the property belonging to the estate, to transfer the property without the need for an estate executor or administrator. These persons or heirs have the right to deal with the property, just as if the title were in their names. Once the court signs and approves the order to admit the will to probate, the order may be used to collect bank accounts that were in the decedent’s name.
There are several advantages of the Texas Muniment of Title. The admission of a will to probate as a Muniment of Title can be done in a single hearing. A will can be admitted as a Muniment of Title after four years have passed from the date of death. There is also no requirement to do a notice to creditors or to file an estate inventory.