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  1. #1
    penmark is offline Junior Member
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    Can executor sell car in FL w/o transferring title out of decedent's name

    I am the executor of my father's estate. He died in FL w/ a FL will. I live in NJ. I am designated in the will to dispose of personal belongings, including autos. I am considering selling the car and splittling the proceeds with my sister, who is the only other beneficiary (50-50 split). I'd like to fly to FL, find a buyer, and sell the car by signing the original title (which is in dad's name) as executor and attaching the evidence from the court (Letter of Admin?). Is this ok, or do I have to retitle the car first?
  2. #2
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    If you are appointed by the court, you would not have to re-title.
  3. #3
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by penmark View Post
    I am the executor of my father's estate. He died in FL w/ a FL will. I live in NJ. I am designated in the will to dispose of personal belongings, including autos. I am considering selling the car and splittling the proceeds with my sister, who is the only other beneficiary (50-50 split). I'd like to fly to FL, find a buyer, and sell the car by signing the original title (which is in dad's name) as executor and attaching the evidence from the court (Letter of Admin?). Is this ok, or do I have to retitle the car first?
    I presume you have been accepted as executor by the courts. So, what you need to do first is inventory and evaluate the property. Then, you need to determine a debits and credits report. If there is enough value, you need pay all the estates bills. If there is anything left, (including after estate and personal income tax filings), then you and sis can split things, if that is what the will directs. If not, you must act as the will directs.

    you cannot simply sell the car and distribute the cash unless it is "extra" cash and that is what the will directed.
  4. #4
    penmark is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I might not have been clear. The will specifies that the personal rep/executor can distribute his personal effects, including auto, in whatever way he chooses. So, I will distribute watches, trinkets, memorabilia, and the car in that manner. If I choose to distribute the car to myself, I guess I will have to retitle the car into my name. Now, if I decide to sell the car and put the money into the estate (there will be more than enough to pay the bills before considering the car), my question is can I simply sign the original title (which is in my father's name), as executor, over to the new owner and attach the court order naming me as exector/personal rep, or do I have to first retitle it to the estate and then sell it? Thanks.
  5. #5
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    You are misunderstanding my point. You cannot take anything from the estate, regardless what the will states until it has been determined, factually, there is adequate funds to pay the estate debts. Once it has been determined that the there is more than enough to pay the debts, and they are paid fully, then, any remaining assets can be distributed per the will.

    In other words, you have to have an inventory and accounting of the estate. Once that is completed and you pay the debts, or at least you can show there is adequate funds to pay the debts, feel free to distribute anything else as allowed.

    Not trying to argue with you. You would not be the first person to distribute assets that really were not assets. As the executor, you can be held liable if you distribute estate property and fail to pay the debts. Just trying to make sure you do not do the wrong thing.

    so, anyway, to the transfer of car title:

    my question is can I simply sign the original title (which is in my father's name), as executor, over to the new owner and attach the court order naming me as exector/personal rep
    , yes

    or do I have to first retitle it to the estate and then sell it?
    no

    it is owned by the estate, as it sets. You represent the estate therefore, you can sign the title for the estate.

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