If a person is married, there are certain circumstances under which a car, boat or RV can be distributed to a surviving spouse without probate. How can married couples who are covered under the same insurance policy avoid probate exposure for a vehicle? Each vehicle owned by either spouse may be titled in both spouses names separated by the word “OR”. Titling vehicle(s) like this would allow for the sale or disposal of such vehicle(s) by either spouse before death or by the surviving spouse following the death of the first spouse.
However, when an unmarried person dies with such a vehicle titled in that person’s name alone, the Personal Representative (also known as an executor in other states) would have to include the vehicle in the probate estate. How can an unmarried person avoid probate exposure for a vehicle titled in that person’s name alone? The unmarried owner may choose to transfer the title to the owner’s name ‘for life’, with the ‘remainder’ to someone else; in this way, the “someone else” would not be a current co-owner– see our Blog on Dangers of Titling Property With Another Person. In Florida, you may consider the possibility of using a form which The Department of Highway Safety website has here; if after consulting with an attorney you decide to do so, you can check the box that says “Life Estate/Remainder Person” and then complete the remaining information.
The foregoing has been provided for informational purposes only; whether you are unmarried or married, please consult an attorney to decide whether the above options are the best for you since this is not to be taken as legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been established.