When I sent this question the whole item was not included so this is the reason I’m sending again.

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When I sent this question the whole item was not included so this is the reason I’m sending again.

Sorry for the mix up.When I divorced my wife 20 years ago she received to cars in the settlement. She died two weeks ago and never titled those cars in her name. When bought my name was on the titles. Since she never titled those cars in her name do I have legal right to them now even if they are mentioned in the will?

Asked on April 28, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If a divorce decree specically awarded her the cars and she just never changed the title into her name, then the will controls who gets the cars because the cars are part of her estate, not yours.  The cars would then been disposed of according to however her will directed.  She does not have to mention the cars specifically in the will, she would only be required to identify who she intended to inherit her estate-- which would include the cars.

If the divorce decree specifically awarded her the cars and then she titled them into both of your names, an argument could be made that she intended to "gift" you partial ownership in the cars.  But, based on what you describe, it appears she just never changed the titles.

You could attempt to reclaim them because your name is on the titles, but the estate, with proof contained in the final decree, would have the right to press charges for theft since you took something that you knew was awarded to her. 

 


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