Full administration of an estate is not always necessary. If an estate has no unpaid debts, except those secured by real property, and administration is not otherwise necessary, probating a will as a muniment of title can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to a traditional probate proceeding.
Requirements for probating a will as a muniment of title
A court will issue an order admitting a will to probate as a muniment of title when:
- The decedent had a valid will.
- The court is satisfied that the estate has no unpaid debts except those secured by real property.
- The court for other reason finds that there is no need for a formal administration.
Possible limitations of probating a will as a muniment of title
The court order admitting the will to probate as a muniment of title should be sufficient legal authority to allow banks, transfer agents, brokerage houses, and others holding estate assets to distribute those assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
However, some financial institutions who are not familiar with this procedure are reluctant to transfer these assets without traditional letters testamentary. So it is best to check with these institutions first to determine whether they will accept an order admitting the will as a muniment of title before choosing this alternative.
An attorney can help you determine whether probating a will as a muniment of title is the best option based on your unique circumstances.
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