If an aunt who recently passed verbally gave me her car, will this stand up in court?

Asked on September 19, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, verbal promises to give someone something are not enforceable.  In order to have a verbal contract that is enforceable, there has to be what is called consideration.  You would have had to have promised to give the aunt something in exchange for the car, something of value.  For example, if you promised to use the car to drive her around running errands, then the promise would be enforceable.  As it is, there is no consideration and therefore the promise is not enforceable whether or not the aunt is alive or dead.

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, verbal promises to give someone something are not enforceable.  In order to have a verbal contract that is enforceable, there has to be what is called consideration.  You would have had to have promised to give the aunt something in exchange for the car, something of value.  For example, if you promised to use the car to drive her around running errands, then the promise would be enforceable.  As it is, there is no consideration and therefore the promise is not enforceable whether or not the aunt is alive or dead.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.