Our previous article discussed the ways in which you might be able to locate a will. Let’s suppose you did find that will. Great! You can read it and see what your loved one wanted to do with their estate.

There are a couple of important things to know when probating a will.

Contents of the Will and the Estate

First, who does the will name as executor? This is the person that is going to be doing all the ‘heavy lifting’ as the estate is being resolved.

Second, does the estate owe any debts? Are there credit card balances? Is there a mortgage associated with any property?

Finally, how much is in the estate? What are the assets? How much property did they own? Did they have any vehicles? If so, whose name is on the title?

The answers to these questions are going to determine what type of probate your attorney should pursue.

Depending on the answers, your attorney can choose to probate the will in one of two ways - as Muniment of Title or as Letters Testamentary.

Muniment of Title

Texas allows for an easy transfer of estate property under certain criteria.

If the estate owes no debts (except for any debt secured by real property), the will can be probated as muniment of title.

This is a quick and cost effective way to probate the estate without any need for an administration. That can get expensive and complicated, so avoiding it makes the whole process easier.

Keep in mind though, that not every state recognizes the probate of a will as muniment of title. Those states will require letters testamentary in order to resolve or transfer the title of estate property. So even if your loved one lived in the great state of Texas and passed away here, if the deceased owned property in a different state, that state might ask that you provide them with such letters.

If that’s the case, you will have to obtain those letters from the court. Next week, we will discuss the process associated with that.



Contact Sung R. Kim, Attorney at Law for Aggressive, Hands-On Representation in Longview, Texas