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My grandmother died, left my mother as the Will executor, but bank wants car back. Can I still drive it until they take it?

Austin, TX |

My grandmother was the owner and she passed, leaving my mother as the executor of the Will. However, some problems occurred when trying to transfer the title over and now we seem to be stuck in limbo. My mother claims that she tried to get the money to buy the car but was unable to contact them until a letter arrived that said they had written the car off as a loss and put it up for collections. No one has ever tried to collect the car as of yet, and I'm not sure if I'm risking any legal trouble by driving it/insuring it.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

You are not committing a crime by driving the car.
However-the proper thing to do would be to return the car-up to you and mother unless she can make another deal.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

Thank you. There are additional reasons for why we have not yet returned or bought the car outright yet relating to payments we've made that they have so far refused to recognize, but I think that may be a question for down the road!

Posted

If you are going to drive the car, buy insurance for it. Do not drive it without insurance. If you want to keep the car, contact the finance company and see if you can resume making payments. They will not allow you to transfer title unless you payoff the car. You could apply for a car loan. The executor could sign off on the title. The old lien would be paid off. Then you would have title in your name, plus payments to make.

No lawyer-client relationship exists. This answer is intended for discussion purposes only. You must obtain legal advice from your own attorney.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Would you have anything to say about renewing registration without having the title?

Gary T. MacInnis

Gary T. MacInnis

Posted

Renew the registration in your grandmother's name or in the name of the estate, for example: Estate of Mary Smith, deceased. Also, if you can refinance it, you will get the title release from the original finance company. Turn all the documents over to the new finance company. they will obtain a new title. The new title will list you as the owner, and the new finance company will be the lien holder. If you liked my answer please give me a best answer grade.

Posted

You can drive it until estate no longer owns it so long as you have permission of executor. Unless Will has been filed for probate and your mother appointed as executor and filed her oath, she has no power to act. Assuming your mother has qualified as executor, there is a claim process that needs to be followed by her.

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Posted

You cannot insure it as you do not have an insurable interest. Unless it is titled to you, the estate must be the named insured.

John Zgourides
www.zgourides.com
Info@zgourides.com

Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services. See http://zgourides.com for more information.

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3 comments

Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

Posted

Good point-the estate should not let her drive.

Asker

Posted

Couldn't I get liability insurance to legally drive the car and just not have insurance on the car itself? The way I understand it, that'd mean I'd be covered in the event that I have to pay for an accident, but I just wouldn't have coverage to repair my own vehicle and I'd still be legally allowed to drive in the state of Texas.

John Gus Zgourides

John Gus Zgourides

Posted

If you have liability coverage another vehicle, that liability coverage may protect you. Try to find an agent that will sell liability insurance on a vehicle that you do not own. It may be easier, as suggested by another lawyer, to have the estate be the named insured on the policy. John Zgourides www.zgourides.com

Posted

It sounds as if the title has never changed. Driving it in its present titled state may put the estate at risk for liability if the driver is found at fault in the accident.

The answer to your question on this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You are advised to seek counsel for a complete and thorough assessment of your legal issue.

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