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Muniment of title is documented evidence of title of ownership of something. It is usually used in transactions such as sales and inheritances. In state probate law, which varies by state, it may be a procedure used in place of a full administration of the estate. Under muniment of title, no executor or administrator is appointed, instead, the court can admit the will to probate as a muniment of title or record of title. Typically, a muniment of title application may only be used when there are no unpaid debts (other than those secured by real estate) and the court finds that a full administration of the estate is unnecessary. An order from the judge, admitting a will to probate as a muniment of title, puts on record the transfer of ownership of the property. This alternative is often used when a number of years have passed since the date of the decedent's death, and no regular probate is possible.
The following is an example of a state law dealing with muniment of title:
SEC. 91-5-35. Will devising real property admitted to probate as muniment of title only; rights of interested parties unaffected.
(1) When a person dies testate owning at the time of death real property in the state of Mississippi and his will purports to devise such realty, then said will may be admitted to probate, as a muniment of title only, by petition signed and sworn to by all beneficiaries named in the will, and the spouse of such deceased person if such spouse is not named as a beneficiary in the will, without the necessity of administration or the appointment of an executor or administrator with the will annexed, provided it be shown by said petition that:
(a) The value of the decedent's personal estate in the state of Mississippi at the time of his or her death, exclusive of any interest in real property, did not exceed the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), exclusive of exempt property; and
(b) All known debts of the decedent and his estate have been paid, including estate and income taxes, if any.
(2) If any beneficiary to any will admitted to probate pursuant to this section shall be under a disability, then the petition may be signed for him by one of his parents or his legal guardian.
(3) The probate of a will under this section shall in no way affect the rights of any interested party to petition for a formal administration of the estate or to contest the will as provided by Section 91-7-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, or the right of anyone desiring to contest a will presented for probate as provided by Section 91-7-21, or as otherwise provided by law.
(4) This section shall apply to wills admitted to probate from and after July 1, 1984, notwithstanding that the testator or testatrix may have died on or before July 1, 1984.