Answers with Andrew addresses estate planning, motor vehicle title transfers after death. This is one of the most missed areas in estate planning. People plan their estates to avoid probate. Probate occurs when assets that are held in one person’s name without a beneficiary or set up in a trust.

When you die something can be an item of probate when you don’t have a will. Motor vehicles in the state of Ohio fall into two classes. The first class is your married and you’re trying to transfer from your vehicle when it’s your spouse. The law says that you can transfer an unlimited number of vehicles up to $60,000 when it is your spouse. For married couples, we want to make it simple for a surviving spouse to acquire the vehicle.

Three methods of transfer exist. Take it through probate, Transfer on death, or Trust Owned. If the estate is small and there’s no real estate, we would recommend just taking it through probate. All you need to do is file an Affidavit of Small Estate and get a certified copy of the death certificate. The court will give you an order that will permit you to sign the title over to your spouse.

If the estate is valued at more than $60,000 or if there are multiple vehicles, we recommend using a Transfer on Death or Trust Owned designation. A Transfer on Death designation avoids probate because it goes outside of probate. You simply list the beneficiary or beneficiaries that you want to transfer the vehicle to upon your death and when you die, they can come in with a certified copy of the death certificate and the title will transfer to them without having to go through probate.

The third method is Trust Owned. If you own your vehicle in a trust, then upon your death, the trustee will simply sign the title over to the beneficiary of the trust. The advantage of doing it this way is that you can avoid probate but you also have control over who gets the vehicle and when they get it. You can put conditions on it such as if they’re going to use it for business or personal purposes.

If you have any questions about estate planning or motor vehicle title transfers after death, please contact us at https://aolaw.biz/contact-us/.

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