Jul

18

2023

Probate As A Muniment Of Title: What Is It & What Does It Cost?

Posted by: Adair M. Buckner

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There are several different types of probates or probate alternatives in Texas to settle an estate, and their likely costs vary widely. The cost is predominantly determined by the type of procedure followed. The muniment of title probate is the least expensive formal, court-administered proceeding.

Below, we will explore the definition of probate as a muniment of title, when it can be used, and how much it could save you on average in the state of Texas. 

What Is Probate As A Muniment Of Title?

Probate as a muniment of title is a simplified form of probate that can be used in Texas if:

  1. There are no debts of the estate other than liens on real estate, and 
  2. No other administration of the estate is required. 

This probate allows the passage of assets to the named beneficiaries in a Will simply by filing the Will with the probate court and conducting one hearing, at which a sworn proof of death is admitted. Proof includes an affirmation that there are no debts of the estate other than liens on real estate. The court then signs an order admitting the Will to probate as a muniment of title.

The order serves as authorization to third parties to transfer assets as set out in the Will. No further court action is required for this type of probate. Certified copies of the application, the Will, and the order admitting it to probate as a muniment of title will need to be filed in counties other than where the probate action was filed to reflect the passage of title to real estate in those other counties. 

Generally, nothing more is required from a legal standpoint. Watch my video below to learn more about this proceeding.

Cost Of A Probate As A Muniment Of Title

The cost of this type of probate is usually much less than any other form of court-administered probate because it is so simple. Full probate involves a great number of steps, filing, and fees for publication of a notice to creditors in the newspaper, and additional expenses. The cost generally runs at least $1,500-$2,000 with fees and expenses. The cost of a full probate can go much higher if the estate is more complicated.

For a muniment of title proceeding, the filing fee with the county clerk is usually about $475. The attorney’s fees for handling the proceeding generally range from about $750-$1,000, unless the attorney has to travel for the hearing and other factors. In addition, because the muniment of title proceeding is much simpler, it is a less stressful and quicker way to achieve the desires of your loved one.

Possible Additional Cost

As stated above, if the deceased person owned real estate in counties other than where the probate was filed, certified copies of the probate documents will need to be obtained and filed in each other county. The cost of obtaining the certified copies usually is between $30 and $50, and the cost of filing these copies in each county is likely about the same.

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Explore Whether This Type Of Probate Is Appropriate In Your Case

If you are looking at how the estate should be handled and your deceased loved one had a Will, you should explore with your attorney whether the muniment of title proceeding is a possible way to go. The cost savings could be a substantial amount more than full probate, even if it is an independent administration. 

Probate for each state is different. You will need to consult with an attorney in the decedent's home state. If you would like to talk more about probate or the administration of an estate in Texas, please call Adair M. Buckner for a free initial consultation.*

*The free consultation does not cover actual review of documents or giving legal advice on a specific situation.

** Please remember that the cost estimates given are only general, ballpark numbers for the Amarillo area and the costs can vary widely depending on many variables in your individual situation.

*** This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, specific tax, legal, or accounting advice. We can only give specific advice upon consulting directly with you and reviewing your exact situation.

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