Estate Administration

Muniment of Title

In re Estate of Kurtz, 54 S.W.3d 353 (Tex. App.—Waco 2001, no pet.).


Applicant filed an application to probate her mother’s will as a muniment of title in county court. Beneficiary filed a document requesting that the court delay the proceedings until various estate matters were resolved. The court ignored this document and admitted the will to probate as a muniment of title. Beneficiary then sought an accounting, affidavit of distribution, and other relief. The county court transferred the case to the county at law for hearing purposes only. Applicant responded by asserting that the county court at law had no jurisdiction over the case. The county court at law agreed and dismissed the case. Beneficiary appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. The court explained that when the county court’s order admitting the will to probate as a muniment of title under Prob. Code 89C was final, the county court’s jurisdiction terminated. The court had no jurisdiction to entertain Beneficiary’s post-judgment motions nor to transfer the case. Likewise, the county court at law was without jurisdiction to hear the case.

Moral: A person dissatisfied with a court’s order admitting a will to probate as a muniment of title should appeal that order to the appropriate appellate court under Prob. Code § 5(f).