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Old 17-09-2015, 20:02   #16
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
First off, remember that internet legal advice is worth exactly what you pay for it -- NOTHING!

Second, you want to be very, VERY sure that the contract to purchase is specific about delivering clear title to you.

Beyond that, it is going to depend on the laws in the country where the transaction is taking place.

Best advice: consult an attorney.
Once again I have to agree, especially the final line.

So for my free advice, when I was a broker in FL I sold a boat whose owner had died. Very first step was to get a certified copy of the death certificate. Next a copy of a will or court document showing the seller had legal title to the boat.

But bottom line, consult a lawyer in the country where the boat is titled.
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Old 17-09-2015, 20:26   #17
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

Agree that a lawyer in the country/state of sale would be worthwhile. I bought an airplane once under these circumstances. Even with the best honorable efforts on both sides it took a while to satisfy the bureaucrats. If anyone had even dragged their feet, much less just decided it was not their problem or God forbid had been dishonest it would have been a nightmare.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:35   #18
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

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Nice of you to try and help out but you may have screwed yourself it's very dangerous move. If the good old american IRS find out you bought a boat for cheap and sold it for what they see as a profit you will owe substantial income tax on your profit you will have a hard time proving you didn't profit also if it comes to light that the bill of sale "selling" the boat from your buddy to you was signed after his death someone is looking at some serious charges and you can get a whole lot of trouble not a wise thing to do as much as you want to help I hope you come out okay on this.

Also for the OP, if in the USA and the boat is documented there are more hurdles to get a truly clean title. I would get an abstract of title from the USCG to make sure the boat is not documented Even if you are provided with what appears to be a clean state issued title
Agreed, it may have worked out this time but there was no need to muddy the waters and it creates risks on both sides.

What happens if the nice guy helping you sell your relatives boat decides to just pocket the profit? Once sold, it's his boat.

Giving the profits to the heir doesn't solve the tax issue. As far as the IRS is concerned, the money you gave the heir is a gift. If large enough in addition to taxes on the profits, it could exceed the gift limits and trigger taxes on the heir.

Also, do you know if the estate had covered it's bills and there were any other heirs involved? Generally, the estate must cover all debts prior to the heirs getting stuff. If the court decides you were trying to scam the system by selling for next to nothing, they could come back on you as the sale was not legal as the heir didn't have the right to sell the boat.


All for a transaction that wasn't even needed. If you want to help, help coordinate the sale but sell directly from heir to buyer. Doing this will just make it look like you were hiding something if the poo hits the fan.
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Old 18-09-2015, 08:36   #19
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

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Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
Agree that a lawyer in the country/state of sale would be worthwhile. I bought an airplane once under these circumstances. Even with the best honorable efforts on both sides it took a while to satisfy the bureaucrats. If anyone had even dragged their feet, much less just decided it was not their problem or God forbid had been dishonest it would have been a nightmare.
Yes, closing the deal can take a while. It was a few months before I was able to finalize the boat sale, even with a lawyer and full family cooperation.

When we finally got the death certificate it showed the owner had been stabbed to death in Medellin Colombia. Always wondered about that.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:59   #20
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

Quote:
.

Also, do you know if the estate had covered it's bills and there were any other heirs involved? Generally, the estate must cover all debts prior to the heirs getting stuff. If the court decides you were trying to scam the system by selling for next to nothing, they could come back on you as the sale was not legal as the heir didn't have the right to sell the boat.

Not sure if you are responing to my post or not...?
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Old 18-09-2015, 13:42   #21
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

I bought Idora from an estate. No issues at all with the title but the delays until she was available for sale were not good for the boat. Provisions for maintaining the vessel by the heirs can be helpful to the value of their inheritance.. neglect is harmful and could even result in the loss of the vessel and consequently it's value.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:33   #22
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Re: Owner dies, family wants to sell a boat?

Find yourself a Marine Attorney and let them handle it all and include his fees in the sale price.
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