My father passed away and both of our names are on the title, what do I need so I can sellthe car?

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If legal registered title to the car with your and your late father's names upon it states "as joint tenants", by operation of law you own the car since you survived him. If this is the case, then you need to go to a Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicle's office with a certified copy of your father's death certificate atatched to an affidavit signed by you under the penalty of perjury that you are also on title to the car and that your father has passed away. The clerk should be in a position to change registered title to the car.

If registered title is not as joint tenancy, then you will need to either probate your father's will (if no will, you need to administer the estate) and if he has a trust, then the trustee needs to sign a declaration that the car goes to whomever is desigated in the trust and bring such to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles with the certified copy of his death certificate.

If a probate is filed, the court will then make an order as to who else is to be on title to the car and a certified copy of the order needs to be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles so that registered title can be changed. Once done, the car can be sold and title transferred to the new owner.


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