A very good friend of mine died a month ago. (That's why I've lost
most of my interest in this ng.)
He left a pickup worth nothing and a car worth something.
His brother wants to donate them to charity and one charity will pick
the car up with only the keys and registration, but later they want a
copy of the death certificate and proof that the one offering the car
is its new owner.
The paperwork might not even be ready yet -- for example, he has
another brother who would have to sign away his rights to the cars, or
more likely, the executor would have to certify the entire
distribution, much of which has not happened -- and his brother is
going back to Europe tomorrow, where he lives. What happens if the
charity never gets the proper paperwork?
Will they tow the car and the pickup back to where they found them, or
email address is no good anymore. please post request if wanting to
Not really a car question, but an estate question. The charity just
want to cover their ass if a claim comes up later. They want clear title.
Real value is probably junk value, a couple hundred bucks, at best,
auction value. The vehicles cannot be sold until approved by the
executor or possibly probate. I'm not a lawyer and don't give legal
My advice: Don't get in the middle, don't give legal advice, let the
estate go to probate and the executor can make disposition. The value
is not going to change much over the next month or two. If you are
interested in buying, offer $100 over than charity write off.
On Sun, 03 Apr 2016 21:17:39 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I thought the answer I would get is that after it sits at the tow yard
for 30 or 60 days without ever getting the paperwork that was
promised, the cars will be deemed abandoned. And they will proceed
to resell or part them, just as the brother wishes.
What wil happen once the car/truck is towed away if something
interferes with the charity's getting the paperwork? Lots of things
can delay this or stop it for months. The charity wants the new
owner to be the one donating the car, and that can take months to
settle. Soon the plates will expire, and everyone wants the car/truck
gone if no one is using them.
The car is worth more than that.
I'm not interested in them at all. I don't know what gave you that
idea. I want to help my friend's brother get on the plane tomorrow
evening knowing that his business here is wrapped up, not counting
whatever can be handled by email, or at the worse, mail. He's been
here twice the last 5 weeks, for the funeral and for this, and can't
afford to come back. In fact he has no more family here and he said
he plans to never come back.
The titles can't be found, but the charity or itsr agent will arrange
for the replacement title.
The brother has a lawyer and probably does have a death certificate,
that's not the problem. The problem is that all the property is in
the estate and has not been distributed. The brother has talked to
the lawyer and the brother doesn't yet have authority to give away the
cars, but he does have plane reservations.
How many potential heirs are there and is there enough of an estate to
really be "probated"? It is no shock but we have a lot of people die
here in Florida and if there isn't really a dispute over the big
ticket items like houses, these things get distributed very amicably
without a will or a probate process. Cash, stocks and other "money"
seems to be thing they fight over and "stuff" ends up in a garage sale
or a dumpster. Cars are usually a handshake deal between the kids and
the title thing is really easy if you have the death certificate. You
don't really need the title document, it just saves you a few bucks
and a few forms if you have it. (assuming your state hasn't gone to a
Of about 20 or so deaths that have happened in this neighborhood over
the last couple decades, I only remember a couple that did not just go
with an agreement among the kids if there was no will.
On Mon, 04 Apr 2016 00:31:11 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I think you're ignoring the part that he's leaving tomorrow.
Maybe it was a mistake for him to think he could get all this done in
less than a week, but he doesn't have enough money to pay to change
the plane tickets (him and his wife).
So have him sign a document that says he is giving the car to the
charity and send him on his way. That and the death certificate should
let them flow the paperwork through DMV. As long as the other heirs
are OK with it, where is the problem?
If they aren't, tell them where the car is and let them deal with the
problems. You should not have to work this hard to give away a car.
On Monday, April 4, 2016 at 12:31:38 AM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
I would suspect that in FL, like in most states, if you die without
a will, state law determines how the estate gets distributed. Like you
say, if there is very little value and everyone is amicable, it could
be simple. But it only takes one potential heir and/or some modest value
to the estate to create a big problem.
Again, IDK how FL works, but I would think what you really need
is a certificate of executorship. Just because someone died,
doesn't mean that anyone who has a copy of the death certificate
has the legal right to transfer title of property or do anything else
with regard to the estate.
money and had me and my sister signing on the respective accounts. I
had a little scrap of paper telling me how much each of the nieces
would get and I just wrote them a check. The car was a toss up and I
ended up giving it to my daughter (nobody else was willing to come get
it) but it did not last long enough to get new tags. The car died with
my mother's tag on it.
The state was never involved. Several of my neighbors did the same
SS and Medicare were on it right away and they debited the overpayment
straight from her account. Federal law requires funeral homes and
nursing homes to tell SS when someone dies and it is immediate.
On Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 10:20:16 PM UTC-4, Micky wrote:
Did the deceased have a will? Who did the will leave the cars to?
Brother is the executor? Those are the first questions. If this
was a simple estate and the deceased had a will, this could likely
have been handled without a lawyer. I wouldn't be surprised to see
the lawyer's bill exceed the value of the cars.
On Monday, April 4, 2016 at 2:52:47 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
"The paperwork might not even be ready yet -- for example, he has
another brother who would have to sign away his rights to the cars, or
more likely, the executor would have to certify the entire
distribution, much of which has not happened"
Since there appears to be an executor, why is this brother who's
leaving for Europe even involved? Was there a will? The cars
left to him? If so, then I agree, the brother can sign a statement
saying he does not want the cars and directing the executor to give
them to the charity. If the cars were not left to him, or
there was no will, other possible heirs, then it's a different situation.
By definition, a official, legal "executor" only exists if there was a
Will. The executor is usually designated by the decedent in the Will
and if available, competent and willing, is appointed by the Court to be
responsible for dealing with the estate according to the provisions of
the Will. The executor has the legal authority to act in accordance with
the provisions of the Will unless a challenger is willing to go to court
to disagree with a decision of the executor or to try to "break" the
Will and have estate assets disposed of in a way that is different than
stipulated in the Will.
If the decedent dies intestate (without a Will), the Probate Court in
the same jurisdiction as the decedent will appoint an Administrator to
deal with the assets of the estate according to the laws of that
jurisdiction that pertain to intestate estates. (I know; been there,
done that. Not easy or pleasant for an inexperienced legal layman.)
However, it is almost a distinction without a difference because as my
estate attorney explained to me, the responsibilities and duties of an
executor and administrator are essentially the same. Both act to
disperse and dispose of the estate's assets with the discretionary
oversight and approval (tacit or otherwise) of the Probate Court. The
main difference is that the Executor acts in accordance with the
provisions of the Will and the Administrator acts in accordance with the
local laws governing the distribution of the assets of an intestate
I had a dead vehicle on a piece of property which I sold. The buyer of
the property wanted it removed. I told him he could just have it, but he
did not want to deal with it. It was located hundreds of miles from my
home, so I was not gonna tow it. I called a local charity to donate it,
and they had so many expectations, I finally told them "I'm giving it to
you for free, not selling it, take it or leave it". They refused. I
ended up having a scrap yard charge me what I would get for junk price,
to tow it to their lot. So, they got it for free, but I no longer had to
worry about it, so that was that!
I'm sure the junk yard made money on it, which I had hoped would rather
go to the charity, but if they have that many expectations, the hell
with them. I will never offer any vehicle to a charity again.
On Sun, 03 Apr 2016 21:32:29 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Terrible story. They're not all like that.
The one I had in mind was Kars4Kids (spelled that way. There are
imitators who spell it almost that way.) and it looked like they were
going to take it and wait for documentation.
But the brother emailed me a little while ago that he called a local
place, which I think only gets a car once in a while but also knew his
family, probably knew the man who died, and knows darn well that he
and his brother are the heirs, if not legally yet, then eventually,
and that he's not lying to them. If the guy he talked to on the phone
didn't know that already, he can verify it with one phone call to
someone who knows both of them.
Before there were so many liars and thieves, or at least before the
people got stuck too many times and the "system" came up with ways to
prevent it, this is the way most things used to work, at least when
less than 1000 2016-dollars were involved, people who knew and trusted
each other working on a handshake and not insisting on dotting every
I dont' know if he's promised to send in the paperwork eventually or
not, and I don't know if the charity assured him that even if he
doesn't, they won't return the car to him in Europe.
I did save him some trouble. He had asked me if I had time to drive
the cars to my friend's old house, where there was space to store them
until they were towed, and he would follow and drive me back. Twice I
guess because there is a car and a truck. I asked him why do all this
when K4K promises to come in one or two days (and calls to say when
they are coming.) So we don't have to spend tomorrow morning moving
cars. Even if they don't come for another week, that's okay too.
I'm not a lawyer. However, I had the miserable experience of being the
administrator for my mother's rather complicated estate and who most
inconveniently didn't have a will (or so successfully hid it that it was
never discovered despite extensive sleuthing). I live in a different
state than my late mother's legal state of residence which complicated
being designated the administrator and necessitated a large and
expensive surety bond. To complicate matters further, some of the assets
of her estate were located in a distant foreign country that doesn't
have reciprocity with our country's probate courts. I didn't want to
abandon the assets (they had material value) and couldn't close out the
estate until those assets were liquidated and the proceeds transferred
into the estate, or retitled to a new owner. I learned a few lessons
from this experience:
1. Some processes just can't be rushed. It generally takes 1-2 years
from the date of death to close an estate when the deceased has assets
and dies without a will. Everyone I spoke to who had experience with
the process said so. Some dealt with estates that took even longer to
2. The executor/administrator should seriously consider hiring a good
estate attorney (unless they themselves are trained in that field),
especially when the estimated value of the estate is certain to exceed
the attorney's fees.
3. If you are only a friend of one or more of the heirs, don't try to
help them by short circuiting legal requirements or suggesting that they
do so. Either you, they, or both are likely to get into legal trouble
either with the probate court, the tax court, an aggrieved relative, a
creditor, or all of the above. At the least, your suggestion may cause
someone to waste time going down a legal blind alley.
4. Almost all situations can be handled legally over long distances
(powers of attorney, appointment of proxys, affidavits, etc.) if there
are competent people available in the estate's legal jurisdiction. Very
few legal procedures that are part and parcel of liquidating and closing
out an estate require the personal presence of an interested party, even
the executor or administrator. In my case, I only had to travel to my
late mother's state of residence twice (each time for only 1 day) in the
slightly more than 2 years it required to close the estate. I found a
legal way to avoid having to travel to the foreign country where some
estate assets were registered even though I was initially told by
multiple parties that it would be necessary to do so. I was able to do
almost everything by a. postal mail, b. e-mail, c. fax, d. hired
representatives (real estate agent, estate attorney, etc.) Heirs
usually don't legally need to be physically present in a specific
jurisdiction to receive a bequest from the estate.
In summary, your motivation and inclination to help your friend(s) may
be most honorable, but be careful not to intrude where your efforts
could backfire legally and financially.
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