While it might not be high on the list of things that you are considering when estate planning in Maryland, you should remember that your motor vehicle is one of the assets that you own and need to include in your estate planning. What considerations should you make when estate planning for Maryland vehicles?
What to Consider When Estate Planning for Your Car
- If you have the vehicle title for your car only in your name, it will need to go through the probate process so that it can be sold or retitled. If you, like many people estate planning, want to avoid the probate process, there are other options available to you.
- You can add your spouse as a joint owner of your vehicle, which means that the car will immediately go to them after your passing and avoid the probate process entirely. However, once the car has been given to the spouse, they must immediately re-title it so that it is only in their name.
- If you use a Revocable Living Trust, you can re-title your vehicle with the name of your Trust. This is generally the best idea when you have an expensive car (over $80,000) or a classic car.
- The Maryland MVA added the option for a beneficiary to a title in early 2018. Providing that your vehicle is solely owned, you can name a business entity or an individual as the beneficiary. Through the MVA website, you can complete the beneficiary designation for only $20.
- The only other option to account for your car during the estate planning process is signing the back of your title underneath the seller but not including a date. Next, you should complete an MVA Gift Form. By doing this, when the vehicle is transferred to a member of your immediate family, the registration can directly transfer without the family member needing to get new registration plates.
As always, if you are unsure which option is the best for your unique estate planning situation, Miles Tax Advisory is here to help. We can survey all of your options and ensure you choose the right option for your estate planning goals.
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