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Probate proceedings may necessitate a quiet title hearing

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Quiet Title |

As the executor of an estate, you have to manage the maintenance of multiple assets and potentially either transfer them to people or sell them as part of the probate process.  The real estate owned by the decedent will probably be the most valuable asset you have to manage, and it can also be one of the biggest challenges in estate administration.

For example, perhaps the testator wants to leave the home to one beneficiary, but there is a lien outstanding on the title that financial records seem to imply has been paid in full.  When there are title blemishes that will prevent the transfer of real property to estate beneficiaries or the sale of the property during probate, the personal representative of the estate may need to initiate a quiet title action in court.

How quiet title actions work

Civil law judges in Pennsylvania potentially have the authority to order certain changes to the title records for a property.  Provided that the owner on record or the representative of an estate has documentation affirming that a testator settled their financial obligations previously, a judge may agree to remove an outdated lien from the title.

An old mortgage that someone finished paying a decade ago will require formal removal before it will be possible to sell or transfer the property.  Provided that a judge agrees with the representative of the estate, a quiet title action can lead to the removal of title blemishes that have left the estate in limbo.

Quiet title proceedings can also be useful if there is a mechanics’ lien on record that someone paid before dying or when there are other owners on record who have already died themselves or forfeited their interest in the property.

Timely action is key to preserving property values

If the representative of an estate fails to take timely action to resolve title blemishes and similar issues, addressing those concerns could drastically extend the timeline for probate proceedings.  Both those handling estate administration and those anticipating an inheritance from an estate need to understand what is possible and necessary during the Pennsylvania probate process.

Initiating quiet title proceedings is often part of the probate transfer of real property in Pennsylvania.


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