Avoid Stress: Assign TODs to All Your Vehicles

It makes sense for you to name a transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiary for your vehicles. That way, your vehicle can be transferred to the beneficiary quickly and easily, without probate court approval.

Beware: the beneficiary inherits any outstanding debts on the vehicle, as well as the vehicle.

If you have a Trust, be sure to make the TOD beneficiary the name of your Trust.

You may have already applied for and received a new certificate of ownership with TOD beneficiary(s) listed for your current transportation sitting in your garage or driveway, but what about that “little gem” sitting in storage or in the barn? How about your project car, the one you are going to restore someday? Not having a TOD on these vehicles can create real paperwork problems when it comes time for your heirs to sell, or heaven forbid junk!

Take an inventory of your cars, motorcycles, boats, motor homes, and trailers, no matter their condition. Update the TOD if necessary. It is an easy procedure that you can do at the local DMV office.

This article was also published in the printed version of the Volume 13 Oct-Dec 2018 Newsletter (PDF).

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