Should I put my only daughter on my car title?

Dumpy asked...

Should I put my only daughter on my car title?

Expert Answer

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

You may be considering putting her name on the title of your car because you think it will help ensure that the car would quickly pass to her if you were to die.

However, many states have simplified the process for the changing of title to a car after the owner has passed away, taking away the necessity of adding someone as a co-owner while you are alive.

There is a downside of adding your daughter as a co-owner of your car, too. Your automobile insurance premiums may rise if she is added as a co-owner (depending on her age and driving record) plus you are making yourself potentially liable for any damages or accident she causes while she drives the car.

Check with your insurance agent as to the effects on your automobile insurance by adding her to the title and also ask him or her about the laws in your particular state in regard to inheriting an automobile. You may well find that the best course of action is the easiest of all -- just leave things as they are.