When my husband passes, can I sell his car (which is in his name) using my durable power of attorney to avoid probate?

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When my husband passes, can I sell his car (which is in his name) using my durable power of attorney to avoid probate?

Asked on October 20, 2013 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, the power of attorney expires the moment he does.  Talk with your local DMV office.  It maybe that if the title is put in both your names while he is still alive, it can automatically transfer to the survivor upon the first of you to die.  If so, no probate needed, at least not for the car.

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A power of attorney is only good while a person is alive, so no, it will do you no good after your husband dies.  If your husband is still coherent, the best way to get you the car is for him to leave it to you in a Will.  If he is not, and he has no children from any other relationship, then you will inherit the car anyway under the law in Ohio.  In Arizona, likewise, the wife inherits everything.  However, if he has children by another woman, you will have to share the inheritance with them under Ohio law.


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