How can I transfer a car if my mother died and didn’t sign the title?

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How can I transfer a car if my mother died and didn’t sign the title?

My mother passed away and had her car paid off. My sister is taking the car as we have the title. How can she transfer the title to her name? There was no Trust or Will. All accounts of her’s were POD.

Asked on May 3, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It seems that your Mother planned everything well but just forgot the car!  The only one that can transfer the title to the car is the fiduciary of your Mother's estate.  That is the Administrator here since there is not Will (it would be the executor if there were a Will).  Now, if your Mother's estate only contained the car then it qualifies as a small estate and most states have an expedited process for small estates.  Some states even allow for a Affidavit to be submitted rather than any form of a probate petition. So I would go down to the probate court i the county in which your Mother resided at the time of her death and speak with the clerk about what you will need.  They can not give legal advice but they are generally very helpful.  Good luck.


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