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Can I keep my frail aunt from inheriting mom's car?

Older car, large sedan, sitting in a driveway.

(Photo: Flickr/TexasDarkHorse)

Can I keep my frail aunt from inheriting mom's car?

July 16, 2012

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer:

Q: My mom died and left my aunt her car. However, she is 72 with a severe neurological disorder with tremors. She does not take her medicine correctly and does not go to any appointments to get better. She cannot see at night well and has never driven my mom's car. I do not know how much longer she will be able to drive. How can I petition the probate judge about this?

A: If your Mom left her the car, then the car belongs to your aunt. You can file for a legal guardianship over your aunt and have her declared mentally incompetent, but you can't "petition" the judge to do anything because you are afraid for your aunt to have the car.

At this point she is a legal adult and can make her own decisions as to her property. So you can file in the probate court for a guardianship but not to keep the car from her.

-- Answer from Dave Kennett, lawyer on JustAnswer.

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