How to sell a car of a deceased person

How do you sell the car of a deceased person? Things you must know!

A sad incident can occur when someone dear to you or someone you know passes away, and there is a lot that falls on the person to deal with after such a loss, including the deceased person’s estate. After what happened, many people wonder what the best way is to sell an automobile and transfer a car title that belonged to a deceased individual. What are the repercussions, both legally and financially, of this occurrence? These are, of course, completely reasonable inquiries that a person could have in their mind, especially in a probate court. Naturally, those who were closest to the departed person are the ones who bear the burden of obligation like managing the death certificate or the vehicle title in the title office.

Since it is obviously not something we think about on a daily basis or plan for, the majority of people need to be more knowledgeable as to how selling a deceased property like motor vehicles or a car should be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to deal with this and quickly get rid of or sell a deceased person’s car in a way that is both safe and legal.

Not only can you take the burden away from yourself and respect the deceased individual, but you can also earn something for the time you put into selling the deceased person’s vehicle.

Sell a car of a deceased person

This is a complex subject, but there are a few legal responsibilities in probate court that fall on the people involved with the personal property of the deceased. There are a few scenarios worth discussing, like the original death certificate, car title, insurance company, and local DMV, which should cover all significant groups of people that may have been involved with the deceased person.

What happens to a vehicle when the owner dies? – What are intestate laws?

When a person passes away, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their passing, their possessions are given to the individuals who were named in their last will and testament and be considered the new owner who must apply for a new title and pay the occurring registration fees. But if the owner passes away, what should happen to the car? If the deceased person left a will, then everything would be taken care of in a basic manner, and the transfer would be uncomplicated for the new vehicle owner.

In the event that there was never a will, however, the laws governing intestate succession are put into effect, and the state is required to take an active role in the administration of the estate through legal authority. Using the information at their disposal, they look for the deceased family member or surviving spouse who would be a suitable family member to inherit the automobile. When there are potentially several examples where the intestacy laws are applied on a regular basis, it can be a messy procedure and take some time to fully settle all of the issues that arise as a result of this. It is for this reason that we are strongly recommended to take care of our wills, debts, insurance, car title, vehicle details, clear title, license plates, and payments as quickly as possible for a hassle free execution of the legal process in probate court or at a law firm and on your death certificate. In some cases, joint ownership over a property exists, and the surviving owner would be the one eligible for the property claim.

If, for any reason, there is absolutely no one the state can give the vehicle to, like the deceased relative, and no one attempts to make a claim for the car, the state will legally sell the vehicle and undergo a probate process and another legal process with a court order. The money will go to the state’s fund.

Vehicle transfer after death of the owner – How to Proceed

The first thing to check is whether the deceased left a will, a letter testamentary,l or a testimony. Relatives of the deceased are most likely to be mentioned in it, as well as what the deceased has left to them. If the car was left to a specific person, they will become the executor of the estate and in this case, the car. Becoming executor of the estate entails the privilege of selling the vehicle

To fully legally own the vehicle, the new owner has to do a couple of things:

  • submit the copies of registration,
  • provide the death certificate,
  • submit a letter of testamentary provided by the state to their local driving licensing government organization.

After reviewing documents, including the death certificate, notice from the local DMV, and insurance company for a car title, the transfer of ownership will commence, and the person mentioned in the will shall attain full ownership. This is the easiest way to ensure that the title transfer and vehicle transfer occur legally after the owner’s death.

However, if there is a will, but the car isn’t directly mentioned, then members of the family already mentioned in the will can apply for a claim.

This indicates that they can establish a claim over the estate by contacting the state and providing the necessary information to do so. The facts and data that were offered by those who were close to the deceased person will be investigated by the state. The following step will be for them to determine which of the candidates is the best fit for the estate, which in this case is the car and the vehicle’s title. This would require transferring the deceased person’s name to the new owner to have a legal proof and clear title.

If no one makes a claim, the state will first look for the person with the closest relationship to the deceased, as was explained above. If no one makes a claim, the state will always be in favor of transferring ownership to the person with the closest relationship to the deceased.

Selling an Inherited Car – The Final Step

You will be able to sell your car once you have obtained complete ownership of it and obtained permission to do so from the agency that handles driver’s licenses in your community. The most arduous aspect of the process is now behind us. Since you are now the legitimate owner of the vehicle, you are free to sell it in the same manner as any other vehicle. You are now the owner of the item, and it is entirely up to you to decide how you will sell it, be it in person or through an online marketplace such as eBay. Because you will have all of the necessary documentation in your possession, selling an automobile that you have inherited will be fairly simple. The gathering of the documents will require some time from their legal team. Having said that, it is never for an extended amount of time and is not invasive.

One more essential point needs to be brought up here. If there were any past-due payments on the car and the decedent passed away during the time period in which those payments were due, the new owner is responsible for making those payments. Before you go ahead with the sale, check to see that all of your obligations have been met and that there are no outstanding balances. After those things have been taken care of, you are free to do as you like.


Since you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to sell a deceased car, the reminders of making sure that it has a clean title, no unpaid loans or any payment due when the owner dies, and you are listed as a recipient in the last will and testament or letters testamentary, you are now prepared to become the owner of a vehicle that belonged to a loved one in the past and a possible seller. Although this is a difficult time, seizing control of the situation and working to resolve these issues is not only the right thing to do but also the decent thing to do.

Once you have possession of a vehicle, the next step is to sell it, which, as we all know, is not a very difficult process these days, especially with the help of the internet. However, once you have ownership of a vehicle, the next step is to sell it, which is the somewhat difficult part. Within a few short weeks, you could be able to inherit the car and then sell it if everything goes according to plan. Even though there are situations virtually every day in which the estate of a deceased person is left for the state to administer, the majority of individuals are quick to inherit the belongings in a way that is both legitimate and legal.