How to Buy a Car in Probate
Buying a car in probate or in an estate sale is one way to get a high-quality automobile without paying the prices found at dealerships. If you plan to buy an automobile this way, you must have enough cash to make a deposit on the vehicle, and you must have the cash or loan approval in place to pay the balance that is due right away.
Things You’ll Need
- Cash for a deposit on the vehicle
- Cash or loan approval for the balance of the price you negotiate
6 Steps to Buy a Car in Probate
1. Determine if there are any open estates in which automobiles are being offered or made available for sale in your area.
The legal notices section in your local newspaper is a good source of such information, as is the Internet. Various websites provide updates and information about estate sales and specific items that are being sold through an estate. Your county clerk also should know about estate sales and property otherwise for sale through an estate.
2. Attend an estate sale or auction.
Many estates conduct auctions to sell property of all types, including automobiles.
3. Contact the executor or administrator of an estate that is offering an automobile for sale outside of an estate sale or auction.
Many estates will forgo a full-fledged sale or auction and will merely advertise different property items for sale through classifieds and similar types of advertisements.
4. Make sure that the executor or administrator of the estate has obtained appropriate court approval to sell the assets (property) of an estate.
In other words, request a copy of the order from the court allowing for the sale of the property of that estate. You do not want to end up paying money for a car only to discover that the court has yet to approve the sale of property of the estate, including an automobile.
If such approval has not been granted, you can end up having your money tied up for an indefinite period of time.
5. Keep in mind that in some jurisdictions the sale of an automobile (particularly one that is a more expensive model) may require specific court approval.
Therefore, plan ahead to determine whether or not such specific court approval is necessary. Once this order is issued (again, if necessary or required), a final bill of sale can be issued and the process of transferring title into your own name can commence.
6. Register the title to the automobile in your name as you would in the aftermath of any other type of sales transaction involving a car.
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