1. General definition
“Muniments of title” is a general expression having reference to deeds and other written evidence of property title. This includes all means of evidence which a landowner can use to defend title to a property including deeds, wills, and court judgments through which particular land title passes.
2. A probate action unique to Texas:
An action to probate a will in an expedited manner. Muniment of Title asks a court to prove the validity a will but it does not include an estate administration. It is an option in situations where a person dies testate (with a will) and their estate owes no unpaid debt, except for debt secured by a lien on real estate or if for another reason, there is no need for the court to appoint an executor to administer the estate.
Under Texas Estates Code §257.12(a), a court’s order admitting a will to probate as a muniment of title is enough legal authority for a person who has custody of estate property to pay or transfer the property to a person described in the will as entitled to receive it and it can be filed in the property records where real property is located to show the chain of title from the decedent to the beneficiary.
The requirements for approval of a request to probate a will through muniment of title are:
- The Court agrees that there is a valid will that is admissible to probate.
- The Court finds that there are no unpaid debts of the estate, except mortgages or other liens having the real estate as security.
- The Court rules that, for other reasons, there is no need to proceed with a full administration of the estate.
[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]