Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! Remember, this is a public forum and I am only permitted to give general information. The vehicle is in your name? So what basis is the family claiming as to why they are entitled to the vehicle?
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Do you know on what basis the family is claiming their entitlement to the vehicle?
Since the vehicle is in your name, it would not be part of the estate of the decedent. As such, the family taking the car would amount to theft, so I am not sure why the police would not get involved. You can go to court and sue for either the return of the vehicle (this could not be done in small claims; it would need to be done in general civil court since this involves specific performance) or for the fair market value of the vehicle.
In the meantime, it is important to keep insurance on the car, as the legal owner could be liable for any damages caused when the vehicle is being operated.
You may want to ask your lawyer to write a demand letter, asking them to return the car by X date, or that you will pursue your legal options. Also, if you include a copy of the title proving that title is in your name, that should bolster your case.
Here's information on how to sue in small claims: http://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/ForThePublic/FreeLegalInformation/OurLegalSystem/HowtoSueinSmallClaimsCourt.pdf. The amount needs to be under $10,000.
Here is information for the civil courts -http://www.courts.state.tx.us/courts/district.asp
But again, since this vehicle is in your name, it would not be part of the probate estate and the probate court would have no jurisdiction over this.
Since you are offline and I will be going offline shortly, please post any follow up questions you may have and I will respond as soon as I see it. Otherwise, if I have assisted you to your satisfaction, kindly rate the answer so that I receive compensation for assisting you. Thanks!
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sorry i was trying to get a browser compatible with this chat
No problem. Firefox works best.
ok so its estranged family holding the the van hostage because of there false beliefs that they are in the right.. when they stolen nearly all the estates assests ... but besides that this car is geting tossed into the assest part of the estate when it is clearly in my name
the value of this vehicle is between 40k 70k its a classic car and it is in mint condition
i located the vehicle in there garage
i took pictures to show the vechicle is in there plates and all plus the current condition...
Oh, so this would not be a small claims issue! I would suggest that you hire an attorney and put them on official notice that they need to return the car by X date. Also, if you are the beneficiary, the letter should include an itemized list of assets they wrongfully took and include a request that these be returned also. This would be considered the tort of conversion, and interference with personal property. If your attorney is not assisting you or addressing your concerns, you may want to hire a new attorney.
my mind is telling me to go get my vehicle but the law is not for that they push it off is a civil matter but this seems more like theft
I agree that it seems like theft so I am not sure why the police would not get involved. But it is never advisable to take the law into your own hands so I would suggest you do the demand letter and then bring a civil action if they fail to respond appropriately.
yeah i agree
You are welcome. Good luck with all of this. I hope it resolves quickly. Did you need a link to the state bar so you could interview other attorneys?
Did you have any other questions or did you need that link?
Here's that link in case you needed it: http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Find_A_Lawyer&Template=/CustomSource/MemberDirectory/Search_Form_Client_Main.cfm
Did you have any other questions?