Muniments of Title

Very often, clients will seek a Probate attorney to assist them in undertaking a full formal administration of a deceased loved one’s estate without realizing that a simpler and often more cost-effective procedure may be feasible for their situation. Probating a Will as a “Muniment of Title” is a commonly-used alternative to a traditional probate proceeding that should be discussed with your Probate attorney when you are faced with administering an estate. That is, instead of applying for letters testamentary and undertaking a formal probate procedure, a person with a direct interest in the deceased person’s estate, if the circumstances allow, may be able to submit an application to probate the Will as a Muniment of Title. This procedure is used primarily in the following situations: when a Will doesn’t name an executor; when the named executor is dead, unwilling to serve, or unqualified to serve as executor; when the beneficiaries of the Will failed to submit the Will for probate within 4 years of the decedent’s death; or when all that is truly needed is the transfer of real estate and/or personal property from the decedent’s estate, and there is no other real need to manage or administer the estate.

As the name of the procedure implies, the deceased person must have left a Will. Secondly, there must be no unpaid debts owing by the decedent’s estate, except for liens on real estate.

To proceed with a Muniment of Title, a direct beneficiary of the Will must submit a specific application to the probate court, and attach the original Will. The court must be satisfied that the Will is admissible to probate, that there are no debts other than a mortgage, and that there is no other necessity for administration of the estate. A hearing will be required. If the court approves the application, it will issue an Order Admitting Will As A Muniment of Title.

The court’s order may be presented to persons owing money to the estate or having custody of estate property, and the property must be handed over to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the Will. Within 180 days after the Will is admitted, the applicant must also file an affidavit with the probate clerk stating that the terms of the decedent’s Will have been fulfilled.

A Muniment of Title proceeding can be a quick and cost-effective way to settle a loved one’s estate, but is not feasible of all situations. It is very important to discuss all of your probate options, whether they involve a full traditional proceeding or an ancillary procedure, with an experienced Texas probate attorney. The attorneys at Garg & Associates are well-versed in the use of Muniments of Title within probate practice and are available to assist you with the procedure that best fits your needs.
We invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call Garg & Associates, PC at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.