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BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR – FINALLY! NEW FORM LIKE LADYBIRD DEED OR TOD DEED FOR A CAR

After almost a year since Governor Abbott signed the bill allowing vehicle owners to transfer their vehicle upon death to a beneficiary (and they can sell their car without the consent of the beneficiary), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) finally created a one-page form (to get a copy click here) to be in compliance with the Texas law. As indicated in our article “DMV Fails Driver’s Test” (to see the article, click here) in the April issue of the Texas Elder Law E-letter, this can be a useful tool in the estate planning attorney’s toolbox. Beneficiary designations supersede Wills, etc. Thus, with the completion of this form, one would not need to transfer title of the vehicle to a trust or have a specific bequest in a Will.

 

For example, if someone establishes a living trust and fails to title their vehicle in the name of the trust (which is often the case for liability reasons) and they want the vehicle to pass to a particular beneficiary, they can now do so without retitling ownership or having to create a specific bequest in their will or trust. Furthermore, the estate of those receiving Medicaid benefits are often subject to estate recovery for Medicaid reimbursement of funds advanced by the government (a vehicle is a non-countable resource for Medicaid eligibility which is “means-tested”, but the government can make a claim against the Medicaid recipient’s estate after death to the extent Medicaid benefits are advanced). The completion of this form should avoid a successful claim since the state only has a right to make a claim if it passes by will or intestacy (without a will), and the new form would pass the vehicle by the form’s beneficiary designation.

 

If interested in attending our next free ($1,000 value as attendees also get a free meeting) Estate Planning Essentials Workshop on June 16, click here or call (214) 720-0102.

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