Under Texas law, you can bypass the formal probate administration process in limited circumstances. You may use this procedure when you need a court solely to clear or establish ownership or title to property belonging to a decedent. In situations where a decedent did not appoint an executor to administer his or her will, a Texas court may admit the will to probate under the muniment of title procedures. In a muniment of title proceeding, the court does not appoint an administrator to administer your will. Instead, Texas probate courts may transfer real estate to a decedent’s beneficiaries without requiring formal probate.
If there is no written deed or other legal instrument establishing actual ownership of real estate, you may want to consider this type of proceeding. Furthermore, you may take advantage of this proceeding when a decedent passes away without owing money to creditors and without unsatisfied debts. Because of the limited circumstances of when muniment of title procedures may be used, you should discuss the benefits of bypassing the longer probate process with your attorney. Your attorney may be able to suggest an alternative solution if you do not qualify for a muniment of title proceeding.
To proceed with the muniment of title process, you or your attorney must complete an application and pay associated filing fees before scheduling a hearing. You will probably have to provide certain documents, including declarations from witnesses proving the authenticity of a decedent’s will.