If my mother passed without a Will and she had a car with a loan, can I take possession of the car if I pay it off?

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2012

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If my mother passed without a Will and she had a car with a loan, can I take possession of the car if I pay it off?

Her husband my stepfather has no interest in keeping it and would return it to the lender. It is sentimental to me as my mother worked hard to get it being the only brand new vehicle she ever purchased. My stepfather is attempting to kept her estate from probate since has little assets or valuables. I wanted to know what options I have ( I have my step father’s blessing in attempts to keeping the car)? I would like to pay it off. Would I be able to get the title from the lender since there is no administrator.

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Although I am sure that the loan agreement states that the loan becomes due and owing, if it continues to be paid they might not catch it, but it really is not legal.  The other thing is that at some point in time some one has to be appointed as the personal representative of your Mom's estate  in order to transfer the title to you.  The lender will not do that.  Good luck.

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