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My brother passed away two weeks. He did not have a will.

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My brother passed away two...
My brother passed away two weeks. He did not have a will. He was not married but lived with a woman that is possibly his common law wife. He has two sons. The oldest one, by my his first wife, has left the area and has not been in contact with anyone for quite some time. The second son, by another wife, lives in New York, has downs syndrome and does not have the mental capacity to make decisions.

My Mother bought my brother a truck a few years ago and put the title in his name. My brother never paid for the truck. Further, my Mother paid almost all the cremation and funeral expenses. We have the title in my brothers name. Can we transfer the title to my Mother so she can sell the vehicle and recover some of her expenses?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
6/12/2010
Estate Lawyer: David L, Attorney replied 8 years ago
David L
David L, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,255
Experience: Estate planning and probate attorney since 1997
Verified

Hi. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as transferring the title. The truck is an asset of your brother's estate. If your brother owed money or has credit cards or other debts that need to be settled, the truck is an asset that might need to be sold to pay debts of his asset. Even if he has no debt to settle, without a will his assets would be distributed according to intestate laws. Those laws would give the truck to his sons.

 

The department of motor vehicles will only let you transfer the vehicle in accordance with Texas law.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

It sounds like there is nothing we can do. He has no will. My Mom is paying for many of the expenses. As I mentioned before no one knows where his oldest son is, even the Mother. His youngest son cant make decisions. Does his Common Law wife have any ability to make decisions or execute business related to his affairs. After his sons who can make decisions related to the estate?

 

This is such a mess. I know that because the title is in his name my Mom does not have a claim to the vehicle. She did pay for the truck without receiving any money from my brother. What can we do to resolve this issue?

Estate Lawyer: David L, Attorney replied 8 years ago

Any family member can ultimately be appointed by the court to act as executor of his estate. You would have to open a probate and request that a certain family member be appointed. Until you do that, nobody will really have the power to do much of anything.

 

Unfortunately for Mom, with brother having two sons and not leaving a will, all of brother's assets will ultimately pass to the sons.

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