If my late father told me that I could have his car, is that promise legally binding now that he is dead?

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2014

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If my late father told me that I could have his car, is that promise legally binding now that he is dead?

He had cancer and they told him to get his Will in order. I’m not sure that he did but he verbally told me and my 19 year old son that he wanted me to have his car, worth $25,000. He told me again 2 weeks later. However, my stepmom told me 4 days after he died that she was selling it. Do I have any rights to the car? I don’t know if he put it in the Will (I’m guessing no). Does my stepmom have to show me the Will?

Asked on October 7, 2014 under Estate Planning, Iowa


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your step-mom is the executor, she only needs to share the will with you if you are a beneficiary.  If your father did not put the bequest into his will, there is no way for you to enforce this promise.  Your father might have told you twice that he wanted you to have it and then the next day changed his mind.  Unless it is in the will, there is no way to know. 

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