Is Probate Necessary to Transfer Title to a Vehicle?


I received an email recently from someone whose unmarried brother had died without a will.  He was survived by both his parents, one full sibling and three half siblings. He lived with his father and his only possession was a vehicle.  The writer asked whether probate was necessary to transfer title to the vehicle.

If no administration of the estate is necessary, it may be possible to transfer title to the vehicle using an Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has a form Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle on it’s website. Heirs of the property would need to sign the affidavit before a notary public indicating that they are the only known heirs of the decedent.

For more information about who inherits property in cases of intestacy, read “Dying Without A Will: The Texas Intestacy Statutes.” In this case, because the decedent was unmarried, had no children and was survived by both his parents, they would inherit his entire estate.

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