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Estate Planning, Probate & Business Law Blog

Estate Planning, Probate and Business Law Blog by Valente Law, LLC


Ohio Probate Lawyer On Transferring Automobiles To Heirs


Ohio Probate Lawyer On Transferring Automobiles To Heirs

As a probate lawyer working on Ohio probate cases in Summit County, Cuyahoga County, Medina County, and surrounding areas, a common issue that arises is the need to transfer an automobile to an heir of the estate. The process is governed by O.R.C. § 2106.8, and it varies, depending on the circumstances.
Here we will answer some of the most common questions we hear.

Transfers To A Surviving Spouse

In the most common scenario, the surviving spouse will inherit the automobile.  Generally, when a married person dies owning at least one automobile, the surviving spouse can transfer an unlimited number of vehicles valued up to $65,000 (and one boat and one outboard motor). If the auto is not disposed of by a Will or transferred to the surviving spouse due to joint ownership with survivorship rights (JWROS), or transferred to a Transfer On Death (TOD) beneficiary, the surviving spouse simply needs to go to a Title Office with the following:

  • An acceptable form of identification (check with your County Clerk of Courts Title Office for requirements);
  • A certified copy of the death certificate;
  • An Application For Certificate of Title of Motor Vehicle (Form BMV 3774)
  • A Clerk of Courts Surviving Spouse Affidavit (Form BMV 3773)
  • Payment for title fees.

All of these forms are available from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Transfers To Other Heirs

Of course, sometimes the title is transferred to the owner’s heirs other than the spouse, or someone else identified in the owner’s will. In these cases, it is important to determine how the decedent’s estate has been administered. Sometimes, the heirs may have to complete an Affidavit of Heirship and provide copies of both the death certificate and the Will, if there is one.

Transfer On Death Designations

One of the simplest and most efficient ways to transfer an automobile upon death, under certain circumstances, is to designate a beneficiary for the vehicle while you are alive. After careful consideration and planning with an experienced estate planning lawyer, this may be an option worth considering.

Call us now at 330-665-5000 or contact us through this web site to help you with any questions you have about transferring property from an estate.


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