No Will? How do you transfer ownership of a deceased’s vehicles?

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If your spouse or loved one died without a Will and left behind vehicles registered in their name only, selling them after their death can be a tricky endeavor. In order to sell a vehicle, the ownership must be signed by the registered owner. If the owner is deceased, the vehicles need to be transferred into the name of their spouse or the person handling their estate in order for the vehicles to be transferred or sold.

A Will would appoint an executor to deal with estate matters and might even specifically set out what is to be done with the vehicles when a person dies.

Without a Will, the person handling the estate must find another way to prove they are entitled to the vehicles. A fairly simple way to do this is to get a letter of opinion drafted by a lawyer to take to the Ministry of Transportation office. This letter would set out that person’s specific claim to the vehicles (usually that they are the spouse of the deceased person, or the person entitled to be appointed executor of the estate) as well as a specific description of the vehicles to be transferred. This “spousal declaration” is a fairly common letter that the Ministry of Transportation routinely accepts to deal with the issue of an intestate person dying while owning vehicles.


Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration or Estate Litigation. We may be reached at 705-435-4339 / 1-877-85LEGAL (1-877-855-3425) or contact us via email.

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