Many people are unaware that the State of Arizona allows individuals to transfer their motor vehicle outside of probate through a Beneficiary Designation form.
You can only use the form on a vehicle that is owned by one person.
A transfer through a Beneficiary Designation allows the beneficiary to inherit the vehicle, subject to any liens on the vehicle. The transfer does not remove the obligation to pay whatever is owed.
Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Department has a standardized form on their website for your convenience. To complete your own Beneficiary Designation form click here: ADOT Beneficiary Designation Form
As you will see, the form is pretty user friendly as you can type the required information in the blue boxes.
The information you will need to complete it is as follows:
- The Vehicle Identification Number,
- Year and Make of the vehicle,
- Beneficiary’s full legal name and date of birth, AND
- The beneficiary’s legal status as to this vehicle (if transferring to more than one person).
If you are leaving your vehicle to just one person you leave the “Legal Status” box empty.
If you are leaving your vehicle to more than one person, you have to select how they will take title. Your choices are as follows:
- Joint Tenants: Either of the owners has full authority to transfer ownership of the vehicle. If that is what you want, put “OR” in the Legal Status box.
- Tenancy in Common: This requires the signature of both parties to transfer ownership of the vehicle. If that is what you want, put “AND” in the Legal Status box.
- Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship: This requires the signatures of both parties, if both are living; however, upon proof of death the survivor may sign alone. If this is what you want. Put “AND/OR” in the Legal Status box.
Please note that the Beneficiary Designation form must be signed either in front of a notary or a MVD Agent. So, don’t sign until you are in front on the notary or MVD Agent.
This is a quick and simple step that you can take on your own to get your affairs in order.
If you need help with any of your other legal needs and you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at(480) 630-2464.