Muniment of Title

While the probate process can be very helpful in overseeing the distribution of assets of a person’s estate to beneficiaries, the process itself can be lengthy. For that very reason, Tennessee has a number of options for those who are looking to expedite the process of transferring assets of a decedent’s estate. Tennessee offers a small estate administration option for those who may have a smaller sized estate, which involves personal property under $50,000. However, Tennessee also offers another option for those who are only looking to transfer ownership of real property and no other assets. This process is known as probating a will for muniment of title. This simple process avoids the time that it takes to fully probate an estate. If you have questions as to whether probating a will for muniment of title may be an option for you, contact the Nashville probate attorneys at The Higgins Firm.


What Are the Differences Between a Muniment of Title and a Fully Probated Estate?

Typically with a fully probated estate, the beneficiaries are looking to transfer title of any of the decedent’s assets. These assets will include any property solely owned by the decedent such as a bank account, a house, and any personal property. To transfer these assets, a petition must first be filed with the court requesting the opening of an estate. A will or a statement from an heir is filed in addition to the petition.  The court then issues letters testamentary to a personal representative to handle the estate administration which can include paying off any debts and distributing the assets according to either a will or intestacy statutes. The estate administration process can be fairly lengthy as the court requires a number of things before the estate can be closed.

However, by probating a will for muniment of title, the beneficiary is able to forego the lengthy estate administration process. There are two main requirements to probate a will for muniment of title: 1) the beneficiary must be transferring only ownership of real estate rather than any other type of assets; and 2) the decedent must have left a valid will. Upon meeting these requirements, the beneficiary is able to file a petition for probate of a will for muniment of title along and the will itself with the probate court. The petition sets forth some of the basic information about the decedent and the will. The court is then able to inspect the will to determine its validity and thereby transfer ownership of the property to the beneficiary. By probating a will for muniment of title, the court does not have to issue any letters testamentary or oversee the administration process. With a muniment of title action, the process can be opened and closed within the same day. This process can be useful if the decedent resided in another state and owned property here in Tennessee. The beneficiary would be able to quickly have record of the new ownership without having to go through the entire probate process.


Contact The Higgins Firm with any Probate Questions

If you have questions about whether you may petition the court for muniment of title, be sure to contact the Nashville probate attorneys at The Higgins Firm. Our team of estate lawyers would be happy to help you out.