Can I transfer the title to my dad’s car into my name if he passes away with no Will or others heirs?

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Can I transfer the title to my dad’s car into my name if he passes away with no Will or others heirs?

My dad wants me to have his car but he’s been in the hospital and we were unable to get the gift affidavit notarized in time to transfer the title before he became too sick. We live together, I drive the car, the insurance is only in my name, not his. The car is fully paid off. If he passes away without being able to sign the title over to me, what would I need to do to transfer it into my name? I don’t want to have to go to court or give it to the state, it’s only worth about $7,000 or so.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  If your Dad can not sign the necessary forms to transfer title (and the DMV has one for passing a car on generally called transfer on death) then it will be part of his estate and will not pass to the state.  It will pass to you through intestacy.  You can probaly do a small estate proceeding or affidavit since the value is so low.  Then there will be no need for a probate proceeding.  The court clerks in probate court can not give legal advice but they are generally very helpful.  Good luck with everything. 


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