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I live in Louisiana. I have some non-blood/no-real-relation relatives that live in a different part of Louisiana than I currently do.

My step-mom(used to be) still have a close relationship. Last year her father passed away leaving my step-mom and her brother as next of kin to inherit a vehicle from their father. Since then, it's been sitting unused.

I've mentioned wanting to receive the vehicle and she said that she would talk it over with her brother. Well, he recently passed away, leaving my step-mom as the sole living next of kin for her father, and she expressed that she wants me to have the vehicle. I asked her about the state of the title, and she mentioned that she had the title (still in her father's name) and death certificates for him. She is currently not in the best of health to be getting out and about to take care of business like this.

I know the proper way to handle this situation would be for her to properly transfer the title to her name then we could do the title transfer between us. However, being that her health is the way it is and me being several hundreds of miles away I'm trying to come up with the best method of transferring the title that requires the least amount of work for her. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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  • Has your step-grandfather's estate gone through probate? And the same with your step-uncle? Louisiana OMV will need proof from the court that the vehicle was inherited by your step-mom and her brother and that she inherited from her brother. – mkennedy Sep 30 '20 at 20:55
  • @mkennedy Louisiana is a civil law jurisdiction - they don’t have probate. – Dale M Sep 30 '20 at 21:49
  • Note to Raining_Crumbs, I should have asked if the two estates have gone through succession rather than probate. – mkennedy Sep 30 '20 at 22:10
  • Not sure what warranted my down vote here. I'm a legal dummy looking to educate myself. Thanks @mkennedy succession is a term i'll likely need to find information. I think the answer to your question is the info I provided as the vehicle is still in my step grandfathers name. – Raining_Crumbs Oct 1 '20 at 1:04
  • Law.SE is a site for asking questions about the law's approach to issues, and the reasons behind laws. It is not for providing specific legal advice, which I'm afraid is what you're asking. – DavidSupportsMonica Oct 1 '20 at 16:55
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Note that I am not familiar with Louisiana laws or processes so this is some general information based on having to go through probate to inherit an estate in another state and some quick googling.

In order to transfer or sell the car, your stepmother needs to officially inherit it. OMV will want various documents that say that your stepmother is now the owner of the car so it can be titled and registered in her name before she can do anything else with it.

This is also true for any other assets of her father's and brother's. The way to do this in Louisiana is to go through 'succession'. Depending on how big the estate is (assets are worth), whether there are wills or not, whether any heirs are going to argue other the assets or not, and so on.

Assets that have a stated beneficiary like retirement accounts, life insurance, sometime bank accounts are inherited directly and aren't part of the succession.

This link is to an attorney's site but it has a flowchart that shows the various types of succession. Hopefully, it will help you figure out the next steps.

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  • Sorry this took a while for me to get back to this. Also, thank you for your response. To add some more complexity to it. Apparently her father donated it two her and he signed the title prior to his passing. but being that she never took it to the OMV to get it officially changed over, does this mean that succession doesn't have to take place? – Raining_Crumbs Oct 17 '20 at 19:39

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