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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28569
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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My significant other passed away on the 29thof June. I do have

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My significant other passed away on the 29thof June. I do have a letter stating that he wanted me to have all his possessions, but it was not notarized. Now, his sister flys in and clains that she is the next of kin. We had bought a vehicle together, in which I am a registered owner. My belief is that since he had no wil, all the property went to the state, and the vehicle is not considered hers, and basically she has no rights to it. I am in Washington State. It is also understanding that with no will, all assets go to the state for them to decide how they would be distributed. Is this true?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

My condolences on your loss. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you, but I believe I have information which you will find helpful.

First, you can assert full ownership of the vehicle titled in your name. The sister has no claim to it.

When someone dies without a will, they are said to have died intestate and their estate is divided according to the provisions governing intestate succession in the probate act.

Under Washington state law, if your partner had no children, then the estate is distributed to his parents or his siblings in equal shares.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

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Thank you.

Loren and 4 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

JudgeLaw-So, her brother's name on the title has no impact on ownership. I do have one more question. When she left for CA., she took the key, the registration, and proof of insurance( which I pay for.), depriving me use of my property. Are there legal ways to handle this situation?

You stated in your question that you were the registered owner. If her brother was on the title then she would have a claim to his share of the vehicle. She, however, is not entitled to deprive you of the use of the vehicle. You may send her a certified letter demanding the return of the keys and registration.

It is possible that you may be entitled to the sole ownership of the vehicle if you and you partner were joint owners with right of survivorship or you can prove that you paid the entire purchase price from your own funds. Otherwise, it is possible that you will be required to pay the current value of one half of the vehicle to the sister (or whatever can be negotiated).

In the meantime, you can get a replacement registration and insurance card. Likewise, you can replace the key with a dealership if you have a copy of the title.

I hope this is helpful.

Loren and 4 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Actually, my significant other does have a minor child. Though he did not get visits, he did pay child support. So, actually the sister was not the one who inherits his property. From what I understand, half the value of the vehicle is to go into a trust account for the child when he turns 18. Am I correct on that?

Thank you for the follow up.

It is not justthe car, but the entire estate would go to a surviving descendant. If there is also a surviving spouse it would be split, but you do not mention that, so, I am presuming that is not an issue.

Thank you.

Also, yes, it should be in trust until the minor child reaches their majority.