The holidays can be a wonderful time to spend with family and reflect on the past year.
While you’re doing some reflecting, it is important to remember that if you purchased a car in the past year, you probably need to complete a new Arizona MVD Beneficiary form.
You can get one by clicking here to get to the forms library: https://www.azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/mvd-forms-library Once there, click on the letter “B” from the alphabet at the top and scroll down to the “Beneficiary Designation” document 96-0561 or use the search boxes for form name and/or form number.
Just like with anything else you own, you can take control and make the decision to designate ownership of your vehicle(s) to someone else, if something were to happen to you.
Designating a beneficiary for a vehicle is a very effective estate planning tool that EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE should be using.
I won’t bore you with the long history of how this Beneficiary Designation form came to be, but I will tell you that not every state has it and as Arizona residents, we are very lucky that we do. It can save your estate thousands and thousands of dollars in legal and court fees. So, use it! It’s free, it’s easy to fill out and takes less than 5 minutes.
You will need some specific information about the vehicle in order to complete the form:
- The Vehicle Identification Number or VIN (is 17 characters in length consisting of both numbers and letters. You can find your VIN on the dash of your car, on the car title and on the registration).
- The year the car was made, example: 2014
- The make of the car, example: Ford F-150
You will also need some specific information about the beneficiary or beneficiaries:
- The first, middle, last names and suffix, if any
- Date of birth
- Legal status (see below for explanation)
MVD refers to “legal status” as how the vehicle ownership will be transferred if more than one beneficiary is designated. There are three different options to choose from.
- OR - This creates a joint tenancy where all beneficiaries are named on the title, but only one signature is required when it comes to transactions with the vehicle.
- AND – All names appear on the title and all owners must sign when it comes to transactions with the vehicle.
- AND/OR – This creates a joint tenancy, with rights of survivorship. In other words, all names appear on the title with AND/OR between them, the signatures of all living owners are required when it comes to transactions with the vehicle, but upon proof of death of an owner, the survivor may sign alone.
The process to transfer vehicle ownership of a deceased person who completed a MVD Beneficiary Form is rather simple.
The beneficiary will need to submit the completed Beneficiary Designation form along with the original title to the vehicle and a certified copy of the death certificate to the Motor Vehicle Division. The MVD will then reissue the title to the new owner(s). It’s that simple - no lawyers, no courts, no hassle.
So again, EVERYONE should be using this form, there is absolutely no reason not to.
If you find yourself, a friend or a loved one in need of legal assistance and you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at (480) 630-2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.