Transferring Real Property from a Probate Estate in Vermont

When a person dies, her debts and assets become part of her estate and are subject to a legal process called probate. “Probate” means to prove the validity of a will, but the primary objectives of probating an estate are settling the estate’s debts and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the decedent’s will. A will is insufficient to pass title to real property unless it has been proved in a Vermont probate court (14 V.S.A. 101). If a decedent dies intestate (without a valid will), her estate is distributed in accordance with Vermont’s laws of descent and distribution, codified at 14 V.S.A. 301, et seq.

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