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Transfer of car title upon death

Seattle, WA |

How can I make sure my daughter get my car after my death in state of washington, and the proceed of my bank account and safety deposit box without going through probate. My landlord says he will take it all and change the lock if I am dead, and even with power of attorney my daughter can not get in after, I am dead since it stops at death. She will have to go to court and start the probate as an executor and that will take 4 to six months and by then the apartment manager have looted my bank account and car and personal belonging and how can I avoid this all together. Is it legal for the landlord to change the lock upon my death and leave my only heir, my daughter out. How can I avoid this.

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Attorney answers 1


Dear Seattle,

The simple solution is for you to change the title on these assets to you & your daughter as joint tenants with right of survivorship --- and also to change your rental agreement to provide for your daughter as a co-tenant. The problem is that by doing so, you give her access to the assets (and your housing) now, not just at your death.

Better would be for you to make a Will, naming her as your Personal Representative & sole beneficiary of your estate. That delays providing her access to your assets until your death. If the total value of your assets at death do not exceed $100,000 & if you then own no real property (such as a home), no probate should be required, and your assets should be able to be transferred to her simply & efficiently with a Small Estate Affidavit, which does not involve the Court.

Richard Wills, WSBA 19720