It is almost an axiom of the common law that upon the death of a person the title to his personal property vests in his personal representative. On the other hand it is equally axiomatic that title to real property descends directly to the heirs or devisees, subject to the control of the personal representative and the probate court for purposes of satisfying the debts of the decedent in the absence of sufficient personalty. A number of jurisdictions, however, have by statute altered the common-law doctrine and have provided that title to both personalty and realty passes directly to the distributee. This is true in California and Texas, in the case of both testate and intestate property, while in a number of other jurisdictions intestate property alone is affected. The manifest purposes of such statutory provisions are: first, to abrogate the largely historical difference .in treatment of a decedent's real and personal property and second, to make it easier to dispense with administration of decedents' estates. It is the purpose of this comment to evaluate the practical effect and operation of these statutes, insofar as they purport to change the common-law doctrine relative to the devolution of personalty, on the necessity for an administration of a decedent's personal property.
Neal Seegert S.Ed.,
DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION-NECESSITY OF ADMINISTRATION OF DECEDENTS' ESTATES-EFFECT OF STATUTES WHICH CHANGE THE DEVOLUTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol45/iss7/7