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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My automobile title is in my name and my deceased fiances name.

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My automobile title is in my name and my deceased fiances name. It is Joan----and Wm-----. I was not listed in his will as we had only been engaged a short time. His family said they gave the attorney handling the estate the information about the car and title. It took over 2 yrs. to settle the estate and i later found out the car was never mentioned. Now I don't know how to get the title changed to just my name?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately the lawyer that you spoke with is absolutely correct. Unless you are the surviving spouse, there is no survivorship right with regard to auto titles in Mass. This means that automobiles will not transfer to the survivor automatically. The only way to transfer title to the automobile is to open an estate with the probate court and get the probate court's authority to transfer title. You can go to the probate court where the original administration took place to see if they will help you file the forms necessary to get authority to transfer title.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have a couple of questions since I can't get a clear title? What happens if I just continue to drive and leave things as is? Can I have the heirs sign over their shares? Both of Bill's daughters are willing to do that but I have not talked to his son. His son caused a lot of trouble about the estate and I don't want to stir it up again. Any ideas or can I just go ahead and drive the car? Thank you so much for your help - this is very frustrating.

So long as you can continue to get the car registered and insured then there is not much of a practical issue. At some point it is possible that the daughter's try to enforce their rights and take the car away from you. They would have to go through probate to enforce their rights. However, if they do nothing then you can generally just keep driving the car.

You can try and get the daughters to sign a settlement agreement but it will only be valid if you open up the probate and complete the probate process with the settlement agreement. They cannot just sign the car over without the probate process.
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