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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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My husband & I purchased a car while we were married but titled

Customer Question

My husband & I purchased a car while we were married but titled it in his name only. He passed away. Who does the car belong to? It is not listed in his will, but I did find a piece of paper after he passed away that I did not know existed where he had written down a few items as his & mine. I did not sign nor agree to this. I gave the piece of paper to my husband's sister who is handling the estate. He also has children that are from a previous marriage & they want me to purchase this car from the estate & then when they get older, they want to buy it from me but if they want too much for it, I'm not comfortable doing this. What should I do? Do I have any ownership in this car if it was purchased during the marriage? We live in South Dakota which is not a community property state. Please help.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 6 months ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. First let me off the condolences of myself and the remainder of the JustAnswer family for the loss of your husband. As to your question, if the vehicle was purchased during the marriage using marital funds, regardless of whose name is ***** ***** then it is marital property. Thus, at his death the ownership interest became 50% yours and 50% to his estate. The 50% that belongs to his estate passes to his heirs according to his will or according to the laws of intestate succession. If the will doesn't specifically mention the vehicle then the estate share would either pass according to the "rest, residue, and remainder" clause or would just be a general asset of he estate. Normally the court will just award the vehicle to the spouse in the distribution as a portion of their share of the estate. However, the will must be probated through the court to pass the title in this way.

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