When a person establishes a Living or Revocable Trust, it is necessary to transfer certain assets into the Trust. Estate attorneys often call this “funding the Trust.” Assets such as real estate, brokerage accounts, stocks, etc. can be transferred into the name of the Trust. When it comes to funding, clients often ask, should I title my vehicle(s) in the Trust?
The best advice in Florida is a resounding “no.” First of all, in most instances, transfer of vehicles after death is accomplished easily and without involving probate. All that is usually needed is the title, the death certificate and the Will. The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will usually transfer title with just these documents–along with payment of a transfer fee.
In addition, titling your vehicles into the Trust can have a number of negative implications. For example, vehicles are one of the most likely reasons you might be sued–as a result of an accident. If your vehicle is owned by the Trust, then your Trust will be a party to the lawsuit. You would not want other people learning the details of your Trust through the litigation process.
Another reason not to title your vehicles in your Trust is insurance. Automobile insurers in Florida often tell clients that they can’t–or won’t–insure a vehicle in the name of a Trust.