Eugene, OR asked in Collections and Probate for Oregon

Q: Who takes possession of a deceased's unregistered car with no probate, no heirs, and lots of debt?

My estranged father passed away with no will and no other heirs. He had a mountain of debt, and his only possession of value is a vehicle which he recently purchased but had not yet registered. I want no part of the probate process. I'm assuming the vehicle then belongs to the state, who has to sell it and distribute the proceeds to his creditors. I just need to know who to give the bill of sale and keys to.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: If you were not adopted by another family then you might be your father's only heir. However, that does not mean that you are required to handle his estate. If the car was never registered in your father's name then it should still be in the seller's name. I would contact one of his creditors to see if they want to file a probate to collect their debt. If so you could send the keys to them.

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