How to Sell a Deceased Family Member's Car

Selling a car isn't usually complicated, but if you're trying to sell the car of a deceased family member, there may be some specific requirements you have to follow. Understanding those requirements and making sure you're working through them in a step-by-step manner can make a difficult time a little easier. Here's what you need to know when you're questioning how to sell a car of a deceased person.

Review the Will and Determine Who Has Authority Over the Car

The first thing you'll want to do is carefully review the deceased person's will. They may have wanted the car to go to someone specific. They may also have chosen an executor for their will, and that person is the one who will handle personal property issues.

If that's you, or if the car was willed to you but you want to sell it, you'll need to make sure you handle the process the right way. Not only does that help honor your deceased family member's wishes, but it also reduces the chances that you'll have trouble transferring the title to the vehicle.
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Attend Probate Court If Necessary

In many cases, a will has to go through probate. That helps ensure its validity, and also reduces the chances that the property listed in the will won't be divided correctly. If the deceased had joint ownership with the family member receiving the property, probate might not be needed.

But for most cases, there will be a probate court hearing. The hearing itself shouldn't take long. It's mostly to go over the will and divide property, and to make a formal ruling on anything that's in question. If there are people contesting any part of the will, though, the hearing could take longer.

Acquire the Title

Once the hearing is completed and the proper paperwork is issued, you can acquire the title to the vehicle. It can be taken out of the name of the deceased person and placed into your name, so you can do what you want with it at that time. You may also want to simply get the proper paperwork to sell it as part of the person's estate, and not transfer it to you if you just intend to sell it.

If you're planning on selling it, PrivateAuto can help you do that easily and efficiently by having everything you need in one place so you don't need to search for a buyer. Losing a family member is stressful and having a company on your side to help you address personal property like vehicles can make things a little easier.

Check for Unpaid Liens

To put the title to the vehicle in your name, you may need to pay off anything that's owed on it, such as a lien. That's not necessarily true of actual financing, as it's possible to sell a car that's financed. Additionally, the amount owed may be forgiven by the lender if the family member who passed away had the right kind of insurance protection. Check to find out what your rights and obligations are, so you know how to proceed.

If there are unpaid liens, you may be required to pay them in order to title the car in your name. While you can try to avoid doing that or attempt to pass the costs along to the buyer, it's likely that won't be an effective way to get the vehicle sold. When you're considering how to sell a car of a deceased person, making sure you take care of any left-over obligations on their vehicle is generally going to be what's necessary to sell it efficiently.
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Cancel Any Insurance

Your family member probably had insurance on the car, and it's a good idea to keep that insurance active during the probate process. That's especially important if the car is at risk of damage, or if anyone drives it. The safest thing to do is keep the car parked and secured, though, so there's little to no risk of any claims needing to be made. Getting those claims covered when the owner of the car and the insurance policy is deceased could be difficult.

Once the car's title is transferred into your name, though, you can cancel the deceased family member's insurance on it. If you plan to keep it for a while, or you're going to be driving it, you'll want to make sure it's covered under your own insurance. That can be among the best ways to properly protect the car. If you're parking it and keeping it stored and secured until it's sold, though, you'll have to decide whether you feel coverage is necessary.

List the Car Normally

The next step in the process of how to sell a car of a deceased person is to list the car the same way you would list any other vehicle you own and decide to sell. At that point, the car is in your control, and if you want to sell it you certainly have that right. Whether it's titled in your name or it's part of the estate, once all the paperwork has been handled through probate you can make the choice of what you'd like to do with the vehicle. Fortunately, there are ways to make the sale of a vehicle less complicated.

In the past, listing a car often meant dealing with a lot of buyers coming to your home or meeting you in a public place to look at the vehicle. Some of them were serious about making a purchase, and others just wanted to look. There was also some risk as to whether people who asked about the car had good intentions or not. It took a lot of time and haggling and was made more difficult by trying to sell a deceased family member's car due to titling concerns and other paperwork issues.

Choose a Trusted Company to Help

For anyone who's trying to determine how to sell a car of a deceased person, PrivateAuto can help. You can save time and energy — and reduce a lot of stress — by working with a company that understands how to help you sell a car effectively. Everything happens in one place, so you have an efficient process you don't have to worry about. From the paperwork to completing the sale to the scheduling of test drives, delivery, and more, you can get the help and support you need from PrivateAuto.

When you're concerned about how to sell a car of a deceased person, you want answers from a company you can trust. You also want to know that someone is on your side, and that you're being heard and understood in a way that works for you. A vehicle sales transaction doesn't have to be difficult when you have professionals to take care of all the details.
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Let PrivateAuto Help You Sell a Vehicle Today

Reach out to PrivateAuto and let us make it easier to sell your vehicle without stress and worry. You don't need any more of those things when you're already dealing with the loss of a family member. When you work with PrivateAuto, you not only get help and support, but you also get an easier car-selling experience and a smoother transaction. You can list the car, handle any questions through the site, complete the sales paperwork, and even get paid, all in one place for convenience.

Whether you're planning on selling your deceased family member's car right away or you've held onto it for a little while, PrivateAuto will be there when you're ready to sell the vehicle to a new buyer who's looking for a car just like it. You don't have to struggle with selling a vehicle or be uncertain as to how to complete the paperwork for it. By working with us and getting the help you're looking for, you can get the sale handled efficiently and move on to any other issues you need to address with your family member's estate.