You’re Driving Me Crazy   1 comment

For a long time I thought that octogenarians should not be allowed to drive as I felt they were a menace on the road.  But, as I creep up in the years (and decades) my position has mellowed.  I realize that I will never willingly give up my right to drive and that my daughter will have to pry my car keys out of my cold hands when I am gone.

The fact of the matter is that many elderly people have cars and continue to drive them until the day they die. This leaves the task of getting rid of the cars to the executor.

My friend Dwight tells a funny story about his mother who had leased a car shortly before she died. No one in the family cared to assume the lease and Dwight was in charge of returning the virtually new car to the dealership.  When he called them to discuss his predicament, he was told that there were no provisions for returning a leased car that early in the lease. Dwight patiently explained that his mother had died and that he would be returning the car with the keys to the dealership the next day.  The dealer continued to protest and finally, Dwight told the dealer that if he cared to take it up with his mother, who they had just buried, he should go for it.  And furthermore, if the dealer was successful in reaching her, Dwight would like the phone number.  Dwight returned the car, keys and a set of pictures documenting the excellent condition of the car to the dealership the next day.

Often, a family member may be interested in taking or purchasing the car.  When my mother died she had a car which we took.  The car was paid for in total and in great working condition, but had a lot of dings and dents.  My mother had not been in a major accident, however, a truck had backed into her car while it was parked in a parking lot and other assorted mishaps had occurred. She knew there were cosmetic problems but never got around to having the car repaired as it did not affect her ability to drive it.  When we got the car checked out, we discovered that the frame was bent – which seriously devalued the car. It didn’t prevent us from driving the car but it was great information to have.

There are many ways to sell a car. A car can be sold back to the dealership, as my mother did with my father’s beloved convertible when he became incapacitated and could no longer drive. I know people who have used Craigslist and even ebay to sell and buy cars.  I have found the easiest, although not necessarily the most lucrative way to sell a car, is CarMax. Another consideration for disposing of cars is to donate the car to an organization like DonateACar.  It’s free, they pick up the car the next day, you get a tax deduction for the market value of the car and you get  to select from a range of charities to donate your car to.

Tips: Don’t forget to cancel the driver’s license, registration, E-ZPass and car insurance of the deceased. Be sure to officially change the title with the DMV if you are taking possession. Get the car checked out before you take possession and make necessary fixes.  Be sure the insurance company knows that the issues were not caused by you so your rates do not go up. Finally, don’t forget to thoroughly search the car for any belongings and don’t forget to take out the cd’s.

Information found on this web site is for general informational purposes only based on personal experience and should not be construed as legal, tax or other professional advice. You should consult an experienced attorney , tax professional or financial advisor concerning your particular factual situation and any specific questions you may have.

One response to “You’re Driving Me Crazy

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  1. I enjoyed reading this.

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