Transferring Vehicles to Your Trust

Transferring ownership of vehicles such as cars, boats, RVs, and other types of vehicles to a trust is an uncommon practice. Typically, vehicles are transferred by affidavit after the owner's death or through a Transfer on Death Deed designation. This guide explores the process, considerations, and alternatives for including vehicles in your trust.

Why is it uncommon to transfer vehicles to a trust?

Transferring vehicles to a trust is not a common practice for several reasons. However, there are specific challenges related to insurance and the practicality of such transfers that deter many from including vehicles in their trust.

What concerns might arise with insurance?

Transferring cars to your trust is possible. however, insurance considerations play a significant role in this decision. Some insurance companies may not be equipped to handle policies for vehicles owned by trusts efficiently. It might be necessary to list the trust, trustees, and beneficiaries as "Additional Insureds" or to obtain special endorsements from your insurance provider. This can be a hassle, so some people choose not to put personal vehicles in their Trusts.

We recommend consulting with your insurance carrier to understand any potential complications with holding vehicles in your trust. If the insurance challenges outweigh the benefits, you may decide to leave vehicles out of the trust to avoid these issues.

What are the alternatives to including vehicles in a trust?

For those opting not to include vehicles in their trusts, a Pour-Over Will can serve as an alternative. This will stipulates that vehicles should enter the trust upon the owner's death. Although this approach might necessitate the will to undergo probate, vehicles, especially those used daily, often have values low enough to qualify for a simplified probate process, or bypass probate entirely, depending on the state. However, this may not apply to collector or highly valuable vehicles.

More Resources

View, download, or print our comprehensive guide to funding your Trust: Trust Funding Guide

Learn more about transferring various asset types to your Trust: Funding Your Trust: How to Transfer Assets to a Trust


This information is intended as a reference only. It is not legal advice nor intended to cover every possible situation. Please consult an attorney if you have specific questions. Some details for funding your Trust may change over time. For example, if the Trustee changes, that would likely affect how you would title assets held in the Trust.

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