My father passed away with a will. Part of his estate includes a car but I cannot find the title. How do I legally obtain the title now so the car may be sold. Do I have to wait to probate the will before I may get a title and sell the car?
Yes. The Probate Court must officially declare who the administrator (executor) of the Estate is. If it is you, you will receive a Letter of Administration, which will allow you to obtain a copy of the title. (Note: If the car was financed but paid off, you may need to obtain a copy of the lien release from the financer before you can sell it)
We, recently, went through this. It can be a real pain-in-the-butt.
Will I need a Letter of Testamentary to obtain a duplicate of the missing title?
A Letter of Testamentary suggests that your father established a trust before his passing. If this is so, the named trustee could probably obtain the title using the Letter you speak of.
However, there may be an advantage in using the afore-mentioned Letter of Administration from a Probate Court. As a bloodline heir, you may not have to pay taxes to transfer the title into your name. As a trustee, you may be liable.
I don't want to give you bad advice; I'm not an attorney and the rules are different from state to state. You really should discuss it with a lawyer.
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