What do I need to sell a car that was in my spouse’s name, who died last year?
You need either:
- A certified copy of the Judgment of Possession
- A notarized Affidavit of Heirship.
The Judgment should list all of the heirs and specify who inherited the vehicle. If it was left half to you and half to the children, then you can sell the vehicle by yourself as long as there is a clause in the Judgment giving you usufruct over whatever property the children inherit. If that clause is not included, the children over 18 will also need to sign the Bill of Sale. The buyer will need the Certified Copy1 of the Judgment when he pays his sales tax on the vehicle.
If there is no Judgment, then all heirs will need to sign the Affidavit of Heirship, unless they are minors. However, as the spouse, only you need to sign the Bill of Sale. A copy of the death certificate or published obituary notice must accompany the Affidavit.
Should you not want to share your Judgment of Possession with your buyer because of privacy issues, you may wish to title the vehicle in your name first. No tax is due, just title fees. Then when you are ready to sell the vehicle, you will only need the title.
1A certified copy from the Clerk of Court is required by Motor Vehicles, a Xerox copy alone is not sufficient.