What can I do if my dad is dying of cancer and wants me to have his truck but my mother wants to sell it?

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What can I do if my dad is dying of cancer and wants me to have his truck but my mother wants to sell it?

It has been a long battle and he is now suffering. My dad has a truck, nothing too crazy or expensive but it is paid off and is only in his name. My mother wants to sell it but I want it because it is sentimental to me and I want to have it. My father has stated he would like to see me keep it as it was his “baby.” He does not have this in writing and right now he is unable to sign any documents stating that he wants me to have it. I do not want my mother to sell the truck and have talked to her about it but she doesn’t care.

Asked on May 29, 2014 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your Father's illness.  It must be a very difficult time for all of you and I can surely understand your wanting to have the truck as a memory of your Father. If it is only in his name it will have to go through his estate during probate and the person in charge of the estate (the Personal Representative or Executor) will have to distribute either according to the Will or your state intestacy statute. Massachusetts does require that Wills be in writing to be valid (and signed by the Testator). If the estate needs funds the PR can sell items to fund paying off debts.  Now, there is a lot more information that is needed here to let you know who would get what and what could happen to the truck.  If there are other potential heirs then things must be divided evenly. Perhaps your Father can express his wishes to your Mother and that will soften things.  But it may be too much of an emotional time for everyone to discuss things calmly. Don't spend the time you have left with your Dad over shadowed by this issue. Good luck to all of you. 


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