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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34541
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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My widowed 84-yr-old-father just bought a $41,000 Chrysler

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My widowed 84-yr-old-father just bought a $41,000 Chrysler 300C in Florida. He wanted to title the new vehicle in both his name and my name (his daughter) to avoid any title transfer (or taxes) upon his death on the vehicle. I told him NO WAY! I would be afraid that this could risk my own family's life savings (over $1 million) in the event he would be involved in a serious accident where he was at fault. He thinks his car insurance would cover anything. His driving ability hasn't been the greatest lately. What do you think?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

I think you have a legitimate concern.

If he is involved in an accident, and he is sued, it is possible as owner of the car you could be pulled into the suit as well is important to understand how liability works. In order from him to be held liable, they have to prove he did not act with "due care". In order for YOU to be held liable, as an owner, the plaintiff (person brining the lawsuit) would have to prove

1. He failed to use due car (so he drove negligently


2. That you knew or reasonably should have known that it was likely he would operate the vehicle negligently.

So it is not automatic...they would have to prove you knew he was a risk to harm someone with his driving.

But you say

His driving ability hasn't been the greatest lately.

If you really believe that? Then you would do well not to be an owner of the rig.

Much better to pay the costs associated with probate to transfer title after he passes then to worry about a potential lawsuit

P. Simmons and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you