Options for Transferring Vehicle Titles – Before or After the Owner’s Death

Holland & Hart - Fiduciary Law Blog

Holland & Hart - Fiduciary Law Blog

Navigating the DMV can make anyone skittish, but in the specialized area of trusts and estates, it makes people downright nervous.  In addition, the Colorado DMV generally requires their own forms for transfers before or after death.  As with all other assets, the name or names on the actual vehicle title is going to control how we need to dispose of or transfer that vehicle when needed.  Below are a few forms specific to the unique needs of trust and estate practitioners and their clients and links for your convenience.

When funding a client’s revocable trust, don’t forget to instruct them to transfer title of their vehicles using the Trustee’s Statement for Certificate of Title.

If the client does not have a revocable trust or wants to be sure that the vehicle goes to a designated beneficiary, Colorado enacted a provision in 2016 authorizing the designation of beneficiary for vehicle titles. The owner will need to properly execute a Transfer of Title Upon Death Designated Beneficiary Form during his or her lifetime.  Note that this form can be used to designate a beneficiary upon the last death of multiple owners and can be revoked.

If, upon the client’s death, the aggregate assets in his or her individual name are less than the small estate threshold ($70,000 for deaths occurring in 2020), the legal successor, whether it be a family member or a trustee, will need to complete the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property Pursuant to Small Estate Proceeding.

Finally, if you do have a Court-appointed personal representative and need to transfer a vehicle, a checklist from the Denver County DMV is located in the blog post on December 3, 2018.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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