Changing the Title to Your Car Now May Keep it Out of Probate Later

As you sit down with your attorney to begin creating your estate plan, he will ask you to list out all of your assets. One asset that is very common in an estate is a motor vehicle. Your attorney will outline all of the options for how to handle a car when creating your estate plan. In many cases, the option you choose will involve changing title to the vehicle now, while you are living.

Eight Steps for Transferring the Title

Fortunately, transferring the title to a vehicle is not a difficult process. Your attorney can assist you to ensure that it is handled properly. Generally, you must follow the steps listed below:

  1. Obtain a copy of your current Certificate of Title, also known as a pink slip.
  2. Obtain the signature of any lienholder on the vehicle, if necessary.
  3. Complete a Statement of Facts for an exemption from the smog and use tax.
  4. Complete the Vehicle Transfer and Reassignment Form.
  5. In some cases, you may need to disclose the odometer reading.
  6. Visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles office in Santa Ana or the location that is closest to you.
  7. List the name of the trust as the new registered owner.
  8. One or more of the trustees of the trust must sign the title.

Changing the title to your vehicles is just one step in the process of creating an effective estate plan. When you are ready to learn more, we encourage you to reach out. Fill out our online contact form, and one of our experienced attorneys will be in touch to discuss your estate planning needs.

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