If you own an expensive possession, such as a car, you have the right to give your car away to anyone you choose as part of your estate. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do with cars in most cases.
Designating the Transfer-On-Death
On the other side of your registration certificate is a spot that is reserved for designating a transfer-on-death beneficiary. When you pass away, a certified death certificate needs to be taken to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the registration can then be transferred.
Even if these steps are not followed, there is a process by which your vehicle will be transferred to someone else. It will be necessary to bring the certificate of title and a copy of a probate document that authorizes the transfer of the vehicle. The individual receiving the vehicle will also need to bring proof of valid insurance and a valid form of identification. It might also be necessary to make sure that the vehicle meets all emission requirements.
Administering Your Estate
Your car and the rest of your possessions will be managed by an estate administrator. This is an individual who is responsible for managing your estate when you pass away. The estate administrator has many responsibilities including:
- Creating an inventory
- Managing assets
- Distributing assets
How assets are distributed is affected by whether you passed away with a will. Otherwise, the probate court will then choose both an executor and an estate administrator at the same time.
Planning Your Estate
If you want to have full control over how your car and your other assets are distributed, it's important to consult with an estate attorney. They will assist you in crafting a will and will help you make sure that your will does exactly what you want it to.
Estate planning is not as intuitive as you might think. After you have passed away, friends and family members might fight over who should receive your vehicle or any of your other possessions. An estate administration attorney will work hard to make sure that your wishes are upheld and will make sure that each of your heirs is protected.
Avoiding Delays and Fees
When it's not clear who should receive your property, this might lead to a delay in probate. Your loved ones will need to file more paperwork and pay more fees. Therefore, it's important to make sure that the right legal documents are in place so your wishes will be upheld.
Contact an estate administration attorney for more information.