Surviving Spouses, Right of Survivorship, Transfer on Death, Trusts and Estates
A surviving spouse may transfer an unlimited number of automobiles and one boat and
one outboard motor upon the death of their spouse. The combined approximate
value may not exceed $65,000. The surviving spouse
should present the original Ohio certificates of title, certified copy of
the death certificate, an application for a certificate of title, and a
surviving spouse affidavit that states that the automobiles and boat or
outboard motor are not otherwise disposed of by a will or testament, for
each vehicle, boat or outboard motor being transferred. The affidavit must
also include a complete description of each automobile, boat or outboard
motor being transferred. If multiple cars are being transferred, the affidavits
must contain the approximate value of the automobile(s). This affidavit form
can be obtained from the Clerk of Courts’ Title Office or your attorney.
Ask for the affidavit pertaining to the Ohio Revised Code Section 2106.18 or
surviving spouse affidavit. After the title is transferred into the surviving spouse’s
name, the surviving spouse should go to a deputy registrars office to have
the license plate registration transferred into their name.
RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP
motor vehicles and/or watercrafts may be placed in joint tendency with right
of survivorship. The owner's names on the title are to be shown as John Doe
and Mary Smith, WROS. To transfer ownership, signatures of both parties are
required if both are living. If one of the parties is deceased, the survivor
applies for a certificate of title in their name. There is no assignment
necessary. A completed application for title, signed by the survivor, is
needed along with a certified copy of the death certificate.
TRANSFER ON DEATH
House Bill 345, which became
effective on July 23, 2002, allows sole owners of motor vehicles,
watercrafts and outboard motors to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries
on their titles. This includes ATV’s, Off-Road Motorcycles, Personal
Watercrafts, Motor Homes and Manufactured or Mobile Homes. The owner retains
sole interest in the motor vehicles, watercrafts and outboard motors titled
in their name but the new law allows the certificates of title to be
transferred to the beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the death of the owner.
This law does not apply to companies, corporations, trusts, banks, licensed
dealers or titles which have more than one owner.
In order to have this
"Transfer on Death" designation made on a title, the sole owner
must present his or her certificates of title to a clerk of courts’ title
office with a completed "Affidavit for Designation of a Beneficiary
or Beneficiaries". The affidavit requires the beneficiary or
beneficiaries' name, address, SSN and date of birth. The clerk of courts
will issue a new certificate of title showing the "TOD"
designation. The first beneficiary will show under the owner's name as a
"TOD" beneficiary; however, the beneficiary has no ownership claim
to the motor vehicle, watercraft or outboard motor as long as the sole owner
is alive. If the sole owner designates multiple beneficiaries, the number of
additional beneficiaries will appear on the title; however, their names will
not appear. The additional beneficiaries names will be carried in the clerk
of courts' data base. The sole owner can change the designation at any time
by following the same procedure. This can be done simultaneously with a
normal transfer of ownership or on an existing certificate of title in the
name of the sole owner.
vehicle and/or watercraft may be in the name of a family trust. The name of
the Family Trust, not the names of the trustees, appears on the Ohio
Certificate of Title. A copy of the trust may be required when transferring
ownership. You should consult an attorney or trust consultant prior to
placing a motor vehicle and/or watercraft into a family trust. You should
also contact a deputy registrar to find out what documentation is required
and who must sign for the license plates for the motor vehicle. Your
attorney or tax consultant should advise you on matters of Family Trust and
how they relate to probating an estate and estate taxes.
WHEN THERE'S A WILL AND/OR AN ESTATE
is an estate involved and a will is probated through the Courts, the
Executor appointed will act for the transfer of ownership of the vehicle(s)
and/or watercraft. The Executor will have a copy of the court executed
document showing the appointment of Executor (Letters of Authority). The
Executor should give the properly assigned Ohio title and a certified copy
of the appointment of the Executor to the heir or the buyer. The heir or the
buyer can then take the Ohio certificate of title and the certified copy of
the appointment paper to the Clerk of Courts’ Title Office to obtain a
certificate of title in their name(s). The heir or the buyer must make
application for an Ohio certificate of title within 30 days of the
assignment of the Ohio title. Your attorney can aid you in obtaining the
correct probate documents.
WHEN THERE IS NO WILL OR ESTATE
is no will and the assets of the estate are $35,000 or less, or the assets
are $100,000 or less and the surviving spouse is entitled to all of the
assets, an heir or their attorney should go to the Probate Court to get a
"Relief of Administration". When the Probate Court approves a
"Relief of Administration," the heir should take a certified copy
of the release form (noting complete description of the vehicle and/or
watercraft and transferee name) and the original Ohio certificate of title
to the Clerk of Courts’ Title Office for transfer of ownership.
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ON PROBATE
out of state titled motor vehicles must have the vehicle inspected for
serial number verification. This inspection can be done at any deputy
registrars office or many car dealerships. Contact the Clerk of Courts’
Title Office to see what laws may apply if the title or estate is from out
duplicate title is needed, the administrator, commissioner, executor or
executrix of the estate may sign the application by presenting the letter of
It is not necessary for a Surviving spouse to obtain a
duplicate title if the original certificate of title cannot be found. The
certificate of title may be transferred to the surviving spouse from the
records if a surviving spouse affidavit and an application for title is
certificate of title has only been assigned to a person who passes away
prior to titling the motor vehicle and/or watercraft and it is being
probated, you may transfer it into the deceased person's estate with
presentation of a letter of appointment or an order to transfer. If the
motor vehicle and/or watercraft was purchased, sales tax must be collected.
If the estate is not being probated, a court order (Relief from
Administration) is needed to issue a certificate of title.
owner of a motor vehicle is deceased and the vehicle has not been probated
when the license plate registration expires, the Executor or Administrator
of the estate can perform a ONE-TIME RENEWAL REGISTRATION for the deceased.
The Executor or Administrator needs to present proper documentation of their
appointment to a deputy registrar, use their social security number and sign
the financial responsibility forms along with the application for
contact the Clerk of Courts’ Title Office when there is a lien noted on
the certificate of title to see what additional paperwork may be necessary
for your transaction. It may be necessary to obtain the lien holders
permission for the transaction and obtain a copy of the security agreement.
In a time of
grief, we want you to know that we understand and can relate to your
feelings. We want to be able to easily assist you in the transfer of
ownership of the motor vehicles or watercraft.