My aunt sold me her car and passed away before we could switch the title over, how can I fix this?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My aunt sold me her car and passed away before we could switch the title over, how can I fix this?

I’ve been driving/insuring/and taking care of maintenance on my aunts Jeep for 7 years. She became unable to drive due to disability. A year ago she agreed to sell me her car. We wrote a contract out together stating if I paid her and met her guidelines, she would turn the title over to me. Around the time I finished paying her she got very sick. She went on life support and passed away one week ago. She had no Will and hardly any money. I’m not sure what I should do now. I don’t have the title, I dont have the contact, she did at her home. I’m not sure who to call or what I can do to get the Jeep into my name. I’m very scared that its going to be taken when I’ve already paid for it and paid so much into it.

Asked on October 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, Delaware


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. If you have a valid contract between you and your Aunt, her Estate has to honor the terms.  It does not have to be anything formally drawn up by a lawyer.  It just has to meet the elements of a contract in Delaware. Is it signed by you and her?  Can you prove that it has been fulfilled on your end?  Then whomever becomes in charge of her estate will be able to transfer the title to you.  A replacement title can be gotten from DMV if the original can not be found and then the Personal Representative of her estate will sign it over to you.  Good luck.

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