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How to Designate a Beneficiary For a Motor Vehicle

On September 1st, 2015, The Texas State Legislature passed a law allowing for the transfer on death designation of a motor vehicle.

To do this, you will need to complete the form for Beneficiary Designation for a Motor Vehicle. This document is called VTR-121 and can be found online here.

Because this law was passed at the same time as the Transfer on Death Deed, many people often search for the VTR-121 form under the name “Transfer on Death Title.” There is also another document you can use to transfer ownership of a vehicle under rights of survivorship laws. This document is Texas Form VTR-122, which can be accessed here.

If you have a joint owner on the vehicle, such as a spouse, you will need this document to transfer ownership. This new law is codified under Texas Estate Code chapter 115. We list some of the important details of this law below:

  • Forms are revocable
  • A trust can be considered a beneficiary
  • It is a non-testamentary instrument
  • A Last Will and Testament will not revoke a beneficiary designation
  • Under chapter 240 of the Texas Property Code, a beneficiary can disclaim this inheritance
  • A spouse will have to agree to the transfer of a non-spouse
  • A beneficiary must survive 120 hours in order to be eligible to inherit
  • Creditor claims are still attached to property that has been transferred to a beneficiary

The two forms we discussed above are both simple estate planning tools that can help you properly structure your estate plan.

Speak with a Probate Attorney in McKinney

Do you need help determining what you need to have covered in your estate plan? At The Willingham Law Firm, PC, we are committed to helping clients in McKinney and surrounding areas protect their finances and family’s future. We can review your situation and develop a strong estate plan that will ensure your beneficiaries are able to secure what you pass on to them.

Call (214) 499-9647 to schedule a confidential appointment with our McKinney probate lawyers.

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