Frequently Asked Questions

The team from Rutkowski Law Firm provides answers to some of our most popular questions.
  1. Should I consider funding any motorized vehicles in my Trust?
    1. Make a list of all personal (not business) vehicles to determine if the current $60,000 (2022) threshold for vehicles set by the Secretary of State is met. Include the type of vehicle, owner(s) and current total $ value. Types might include car, SUV, ORV, RV, trailer, etc. Do this same exercise in a separate list for your watercraft. That threshold is separate and set at $100,000 (2022). If the total $ value is over either threshold, then you might want to consider placing the asset into trust.
  1. If married, does it matter which name the vehicle is in?
    1. It does not necessarily matter whose name the vehicle title is in if the total $ value of all vehicles for that person are under the threshold mentioned above. If both spouses are listed on the title, the threshold only becomes a problem at the passing of the second spouse.
  1. Does it matter what kind of Trust I have?
    1. To avoid transfer issues and probate at the time of your death, it does not matter what kind of Trust that you have. However, if you are concerned about asset protection for your vehicles, you should speak to your attorney regarding your estate plan.
  1. How do I fund the vehicles?
    1. You will need to set up an appointment at your local Secretary of State branch. You should bring with you the current title to the vehicle and the Certificate of Trust for the trust that you want to retitle the vehicle to.
  1. Do I need to notify my Auto Insurance agent of these funding changes?
    1. Yes, just as we do for Homeowner’s policies during funding. Once the vehicle has been retitled, and new title is in hand, you will need to contact your auto insurance company to have the trust added as an additional insured.
  1. Does Rutkowski Law Firm need to know, or can I do this myself?
    1. RLF does not need to know about the retitling of your vehicle. However, it would be very beneficial to keep your new title either with your Estate Plan or where your Successor Trustee knows where to find it. They will need it should something happen to you.
Estate Planning Law Firm Serving Bloomfield Hills, Kalamazoo, Rochester, Sterling Heights & Macomb, MI


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