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Is this a free service? Its involving titling a motor

Customer Question
Hi. Is this a...

Hi. Is this a free service?

Lawyer's Assistant: The Lawyers require payment for their services. It's way less expensive on JustAnswer than face-to-face would cost.

Its involving titling a motor vehicle. Is that something I can ask here?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

Florida. its a 2012

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No. The owner is deceased. Family does not want the car. No one knows where title is or keys at this point. Car has been abandoned a year and half

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

We aren't sure if it was in a will. But if it was person it would go do not interested and no one can contact them. If we have it towed, can we legally have it re-titled

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 35 minutes by:
11/3/2017
Lawyer: Pheobe Clark, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Pheobe Clark
Pheobe Clark, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 154
Experience: Attorney at Pheobe A Clark Attorney at Law
Verified

Hi I will attempt to answer your questions tonight.

1) If the person is deceased and has a car in his name, then a person in the family will have to go to probate court and get appointed as personal representative over the deceased person's estate. They will have to present a will if he had one OR they will have to state he died without a will and the PR wants the right to distribute his assets (house, land car jewelry bank accounts, etc.)

2) Once the personal representative is appointed, then the PR can get the last known title to the car from the DMV and sign a Bill of Sale or Transfer of ownership on behalf of the deceased owner.

3) Then you, the new owner, would take the signed bill of sale or transfer of ownership paper (both can be obtained from DMV) to the DMV to get registration tag and title in your name.

If the car still has tags on it, then it is not abandoned and the title is still in the name of the person who obtained the license plate tag.

I hope this answers your questions about the legal way to obtain the title of vehicle owned by a deceased person. If I have addressed your concerns, please reward me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for this session. Thanks!!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What happens in a situation where the person appointed won’t respond to anyone. Is in a different state. And we don’t know if the car was even included in the will. The car has been left sitting for a year and a half and the tags expired over a year ago. Is there anyway around that to retitle the car? If a towing company impounds it as abandoned. Can it be retitiled after the waiting period?
Lawyer: Pheobe Clark, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes. The waiting period would require you making a report to authorities about the vehicle being abandoned OR asking the tow company if they sell vehicles that they get declared abandoned.

When people say a car is abandoned, that could mean so many things. "Abandoned" how?

  1. Left by the owner owing a note? - No. You'd have to work with the company holding the lien on the vehicle to assume its payment plan or pay for it outright.
  2. Left by the side of the road? - No. The municipality that it is found in will tow the vehicle (or the state, if it is abandoned on an interstate or US highway) and tow it to an impound yard. Depending upon the vintage and type of vehicle, they may make efforts to contact the owner (A Bentley or a Ferrari will prompt them to seek to the owner for example). The other vehicles will be held for a set number of days and then sold at auction.
  3. Abandoned at a home, business or apartment complex (No note or lien) - No. Again, an effort has to be made to locate the owner and have them let you know how they want to dispose of the vehicle. If they cannot be located, you may be able to claim the vehicle depending upon the laws of your state, but it may not be an easy or a quick process.
  4. Abandoned on your property? (No note or lien) - No again. You can have the municipality tow the vehicle; but you cannot simply claim it as yours without making an attempt to contact the owner. If you dummy up some paperwork and fake a sale to you, you are risking grand theft and fraud charges, regardless of the car's value. So following the legal procedures for claiming abandoned property is always best.
  5. Abandoned in a remote area for what has obviously been a lengthy period of time (Years. Again, no notes or liens) Probably not. If the vehicle is found on public land, then authorities are going to want to determine if it was abandoned by a missing person, it was part of an insurance fraud or a vehicle theft. If it is found on private land (not yours) the owner would be wise to contact the authorities and get them involved as there may be questions involving its ownership and how and why it is where it is.


Basically, there are few free automobiles and it would be inadvisable to assume ownership of an abandoned vehicle unless you have thoroughly checked out its background and prior ownership and gotten some proof from the tow company or municipal authorities stating you can have it.

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Lawyer: Pheobe Clark, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
if I have provided an adequate response, please reward me with a positive rating so that I may get credit for this session? Thank you!!!
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Pheobe Clark, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
If you have no other questions and I have provided an adequate response, please reward me with a positive rating so that I may get credit for and close out this session? Thank you!!!
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