If there was no designated beneficiary on the car title, your mother should be able to file a quick form naming herself as surviving spouse and executor of all property. At which point she will be able to transfer title to the recipient.
Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC
Under Louisiana law, your mother has to open succession in order to properly transfer title into her name alone. This is done by first probating the will (if there is one), which is simply presenting it to the court. Assets are then distributed in accordance with the law or the will (again, if there is one). You will have to present a Detailed Descriptive List showing everything your father owned AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. Afterwards, the court will issue a Judgment of Possession declaring your father's heirs as the owners. This is the document you use to transfer title.
If there is no immovable property (real estate) involved and the total value of all assets is under $75,000, then you can do a simple succession which is an affidavit filed with the court.
This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship, Moreover, this attorney is Licensed to practiced law ONLY in LOUISIANA and answers to questions from other jurisdictions or states are meant to provide only general information. Users should contact a local attorney in their jurisdiction or state.
In absence of a will, your mother will still need to Petition the Court to open the succession. This will, as the previous attorney mentioned, allow for the assets to be distributed in accordance with the laws of Louisiana. Because Louisiana has a fairly unique legal system, particularly when it involves successions, I highly encourage you to seek consultation from a Louisiana attorney.
Information provided in this response is intended to be informational or educational only. It in no way establishes an attorney-client relationship. Because every case is factually dependent, it is not possible to accurately answer each question posed. If you have sincere legal concerns, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel in your area. Any response is not intended to create, nor does it create, a continuing duty to respond.