Think about a married couple. When the first spouse dies, often the vast majority of assets are titled in both of their names. Therefore, everything passes to the surviving spouse without probate. However, what if the deceased spouse owned a piece of land the other spouse never had any involvement with? What if the only thing probate court needs to distribute in a decedent’s estate is real estate? Do you have to go through the entire probate process for real estate alone? Can you just sign some type of Deed?
The short answer to those questions: no and no. Thankfully, in Tennessee, we have a procedure that is specifically designed to deal with transferring real estate from a decedent’s name into the correct beneficiary’s name. This probate process for real estate is Probate for Muniment of Title. This type of limited probate process is basically three steps, but there are some important keys to remember.
What is Probate for Muniment of Title?
Probate of any type is much simpler when there is an original will. Therefore, you would start by locating the original will and an original death certificate. Once you have located those and determine that the only asset to be distributed is real estate, you would need an attorney to take you through the Muniment of Title procedures.
We would start the process by filing a Petition for Muniment of Title with the Probate Court’s office and a hearing would be set. A notice is then sent to all beneficiaries and heirs-at-law that this hearing is occurring. Assuming all goes according to plan, the judge will sign the Order at the hearing. Once the court signs the Order, it will be recorded in the Register of Deeds. This recording will serve as evidence of the transfer of title.
Going Through Probate for Real Estate Property? Contact Tressler & Associates
Although probate in Tennessee is a relatively streamlined process, we are thankful that there is an even more streamlined process for real estate. Should you need assistance in transferring real estate out of a decedent’s name, please contact the estate planning attorney at Tressler & Associates. We’ll be glad to help.