Maryland Now Allows for the Designation of a Beneficiary of a Vehicle Upon the Owner’s Death

Maryland law regarding how vehicles can be passed down to loved ones has recently changed and is now much easier.

In the past, those who wanted to pass a vehicle to a loved one (other than their spouse) would have to use the VR-471 form. This form was quite confusing because while you would fill it out and update the title of your vehicle, you would not have to submit it to the DMV. Instead, your loved ones would bring form VR-471 to the DMV after you had passed away to claim the vehicle.

This introduced a variety of difficulties, including how to change the individual you want to leave the vehicle to, or how to sell the vehicle if you choose to go that route instead. In order to make things much easier for everyone involved, Maryland law now allows you to designate a beneficiary right on the vehicle title.

Why Designate a Beneficiary

When you designate a beneficiary on your title, the ownership of the vehicle will transfer immediately to the person you designate upon your death. This means that the vehicle won’t be a part of your estate, so it won’t need to go through the probate process. The updated laws also eliminate the previous requirement of having Letters of Administration in place to facilitate the transfer. These changes have made the whole process much easier for everyone involved.

Requirements to Designate a Beneficiary

There are many requirements that must be met in order to designate a beneficiary of a vehicle upon your death. Fortunately, most of them are pretty simple or won’t even apply to the majority of individuals. The full list of requirements can be found on Maryland’s MVA website HERE. Some of the most important requirements, however, include the following:

  • Ownership – You need to be the sole owner of the vehicle.
  • Title – The title must be in the state of Maryland
  • Beneficiary – Only one beneficiary can be named. This can be either an individual or a business.
  • Liens – You can add a beneficiary even if there is a lien on the vehicle, but that lien must be satisfied when the vehicle ownership is transferred. The lien holder can also grant permission to change the lienholder to the new owner.

Get the Help You Need

If you want to make sure that your vehicle will be passed down to the individual of your choice, it is important to ensure everything is filled out properly. Contact The Tyra Law Firm  to go over your options, and get the help you need. We are here to help you every step of the way and to make your life easier.

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Written by The Tyra Law Firm

Our firm offers a number of legal services, including Family Law, Estate Planning,Elder Law/Medicaid Planning, and Personal Injury. In each of our practice areas, we are committed to paying close personal attention to every detail, and providing excellent client service.