Finally, a Motor Vehicle TOD

Although it is perhaps against my interest as a probate practitioner, I was happy to hear the Minnesota Legislature had finally passed a Transfer on Death provision for all motor vehicles. This tool, if used with care and after doing one’s homework, may help some, especially of more modest means, reduce the cost of passing on their assets.

It is true that Minnesotans could already use an Affidavit for Collection to transfer title on a vehicle, but that route is only open to those who can make the required assertions under oath, including that there is and will be no probate, and that the value of probate assets in the name of the deceased was less than $75,000. Now anyone can, for any reason, make sure a beneficiary receives a car, regardless of value, by non-probate means.

The statute can be tracked down (it’s not yet in the official code) by means of links starting here. If you’d like to see the form, which will be effective starting August 1, 2017, check the Minnesota Department of Public Safety site.

Finally, just like a Transfer on Death Deed, which can be used on Minnesota real estate, this instrument should not be used by DIYers without careful consideration. You may be well-served to consult an attorney. If you’d like help anticipating unintended consequences and how using a vehicle TOD could affect your estate plan as a whole, please contact me at 651-280-0002.

(As always, the information I provide on my website is accurate but only generally-applicable. The law is full of quirks and provisos that may make its application in your particular case come out differently than you might expect after reading my blog. That is why my blog posts can’t be taken as legal advice. If you want advice tailored for your circumstances, contact me or another estate planning lawyer.)