Transferring real estate after death can get complicated, especially if you can’t locate the real estate title. Fortunately, Texas has a procedure that allows courts to treat certain documents as proof of a property title so the transfer may proceed.
This may only be done when the deceased leaves a valid will behind and may only be done through the probate process. This process is called a muniment of title, and fortunately does not require a full probate process. However, there are many restrictions on this process, so you must have your probate lawyer apply on your behalf.
Does Muniment of Title require a hearing?
During the hearing, the judge considers written evidence and verbal testimony that supports or undermines the idea that the will or other documents may be used as proof of title.
You may also have to provide information about the decedent’s death, such as time and place of death, manner of death, place of residence, and other details. Your probate lawyer will brief you on what to expect. For the most part, these hearings are a matter of routine, and there are few surprises at them.
What is the statute of limitations for Muniment of Title in Texas?
Texas has a four-year statute of limitations to file a Will. After four years, a will can only be probated as a muniment of title. In general, it’s best to start legal processes related to the estate relatively quickly after the decedent passes so as to leave plenty of time to handle any issues that may arise in regard to the estate.
How does a Muniment of Title help?
The Muniment of Title helps by reducing the amount of time spent in probate. It can speed up the process by a good two months, and it is usually cheaper than a full probate. It can also help you take possession of real estate faster even if no executor was named or if the named executor was not available.
However, it is not a suitable step to take in every estate or with every will. You should consult closely with your attorney before deciding to proceed.
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Has your loved one died recently? Do you need to take possession of real estate a little faster than the normal probate process would allow for?
If so, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.