A power of attorney left by my father-in-law 4 years ago.

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A power of attorney left by my father-in-law 4 years ago.

My FIL died and left a car with a 4 year loan to my MIL. She gave this car to us with payments due. We recently paid off this loan. While going thru his papers, i found the following mention in his Living Will. “Motor Vehicles: To apply for a Certificate of Title upon, and endorse and transfer title thereto, for any automobiles, trucks (et al) or other motor vehicle, and to represent in such transfer assignment that the title to said motor vehicle is free and clear of all liens and encumbrances except those specifically set forth in such transfer assignment”. Was the car hers wtihout payment?

Asked on June 6, 2009 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is unclear what you are asking here as the terminology you used seems incorrect.  A Living Will is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments.  A Power of Attorney is a document that allows a party to act on behalf of another party (step in to his shoes) for certain purposes or for general purposes.  The documents "die" when the person dies.  If you meant that your Father in Law left a Power of Attorney to allow a certain party to deal with the car as you indicated above, it is unlikely that the party could transfer the title free and clear of the loan unless there was another provision to allow for the loan to be paid off in a certain way prior to transfer.  An attorney would need to review the loan doocuments to see if there were other options regarding the car when he died.


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