If spouse dies before property is signed over to them as per a divorce decree, who does the property belong to?

UPDATED: Jan 2, 2011

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If spouse dies before property is signed over to them as per a divorce decree, who does the property belong to?

I was to sign a title for a travel trailer over to my ex-husband as an agreement in the divorce (his name was not on it). He passed away before this was done but his son removed it from ID and took to WA. When going through legal papers, he took the title without my awareness. Since we did not complete this change before his passing, is this trailer still mine?

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Estate Planning, Idaho


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  I am assuming here that the divorce was final and that the signing over of the title was just one of those final details, correct?  If that is the case then the agreement that you signed was a binding contract between you and your ex husband.  If he had been alive then he would have had the right to take you to court to enforce it.  Likewise, then, his estate has the right to enforce the contract as well.  So the Personal Representative of the estate has the right to request that you execute the title.  His son did not handle the matter properly.  He should not have just taken the title and he can not do anything with it anyway with your name on it.  Contact him - or the Personal Representative of the estate - and advise what happened and that things are not yet complete and that they need to be completed asap.  You need to protect yourself from liability here as well.  Good luck.

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