When a friend or family member passes away, you might have an agreement in place with them that you will take over ownership of their car after they have passed on. If the deceased has a registered will that says that you are to assume ownership of the vehicle upon their death, then your state’s probate court will automatically transfer ownership to you. But if there is no will or the will has no mention of the vehicle, then there is a process you need to follow.
Probate Takes Precedent
If you are trying to transfer the vehicle of a deceased person while that person’s estate is still in probate, then you might not be able to register the vehicle. Before attempting to transfer ownership, it is a good idea to contact the probate court to see if you are allowed to transfer the title.
Each state has its own probate laws that can affect the transfer of a vehicle title after someone passes away. Some states allow the transfer of a vehicle title after a person passes on for vehicles below a certain value, while other states do not allow it at all. The easiest way to transfer a vehicle title is to have the vehicle owner add you to the title as a co-owner of the vehicle before they pass away. In order to do this, the vehicle will need to be paid for.
Transfer Form For Title
If you are the co-owner on the title of a vehicle of someone who has passed away, then you can apply for a title that lists only you as the owner. You will need to get a title transfer form from your local DMV office, the death certificate of the deceased and your picture identification.
Without Help From Probate
If you are not getting the title transferred automatically by probate, then you will need to register the new title with the courts. You will need to also submit the documents proving that you are allowed to transfer the title and the hold-harmless agreement from the court that says that you are allowed to take possession of this piece of the deceased’s property.
Varies From State To State
This is a general guide to transferring the title of a car after someone passes on. The specific rules on how to do this are different in each state, but this guide will help you to get started on your process of transferring the title to your name.
When someone passes on, the distribution of their estate is determined by the state probate court. By following the probate court rules, you may be able to transfer the title for a deceased person’s vehicle to your name.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!