Can I transfer my mother's vehicle after her death?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Can I transfer my mother's vehicle after her death if I was her durable power of attorney in the state of Kentucky?

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Being appointed your mother's agent in a power of attorney document does not authorize you to make this transfer, since your authority there ended when she died.

If your mother left a will, the duty to transfer the car title will likely be left to ay executor named in that document.

If there was no will, then you may need to open a simple probate to get the job done. However, it is wise to check with the local DMV first; many states have simplified title transfer procedures in place through their DMVs, so it is worthwhile to check there prefer initiating any court procedure.