A deed by the devisees named in a will that has been proved and allowed in a Vermont probate court, whether in warranty or quitclaim form, shall be effective to pass title to real estate where the same has been of record for a period of at least fifteen years.
Comment 1. 14 V.S.A. §101 provides that a will shall not pass title to real estate unless the will is proved and allowed in a Vermont probate court. See also 14 V.S.A. §113 et seq. However, there is no additional requirement of a decree of distribution or administrator’s deed. Title to real estate of a testate passes immediately to the testate’s devisee’s upon death, subject to the lien of the administrator for the payment of debts, expenses of administration, and other expenses legally chargeable against the estate. In Re Margaret E. Callahan’s Estate, 115 Vt. 128, 134 (1947). This is consistent with the rule as to heirs’ deeds in Standard 13.1, with the additional requirement of probate and allowance of the will necessary to define the class of heirs.
Comment 2. Recording of the will and the probate and allowance thereof in the land records is recommended for convenience, but not a requirement of law or of this Standard.
Comment 3. The fifteen year time period for this Standard has no specific Vermont statutory basis, but is adopted because: (a) it extends beyond any applicable statute of limitations for defeasance by the administrator’s or any tax lien, and (b) the likelihood of a successful adverse claim to title arising-after fifteen years is remote, reduced inter alia by the number of instances in which the record owner also takes possession establishing an additional independent claim to title by long user. Any conveyance of less than fifteen years duration of record should be confirmed by confirmatory, nunc pro tunc, or ordinary decree of distribution.
March 29, 2000:
- Inserted “a Vermont” before probate court in the body of the standard and in Comment 1. Added the citation to 14 V.S.A. §113 et seq.