When someone dies without a Will, what happens to their car?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2011

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When someone dies without a Will, what happens to their car?

A man dies leaving no Will. His only surviving family are 3 sisters. He had a car that was paid for (nothing owed on it). How do they get title/ownership to that car?

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first thing that needs to be ascertained about the car that belonged to a person who died without a Will is to see whose name it was registered in with that state of registration's department of motor vehicles.

If the registered ownership was in the deceased person's name the way to transfer ownership is through a court order through the probate court which results from the filing of a petition to administer the estate of this person through Florida's intestacy laws by an interested person.

An intestacy proceeding is when a person passes away without a Will but has assets. In an intestacy proceeding a given state has statutes that dictate how a person's assets are transferred through the nearest line of relationship to the deceased person. The court then makes an order as to which most directly related person to the deceased person get what assets that are set forth in the court filings.

Good question.

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