Transferring Your Vehicles Without Probate

Add your beneficiary designation to your car.

Effective since 2011, A.R.S. § 28-2055(B) gives you another ESTATE PLANNING tool where it permits the use of a beneficiary designation on your vehicle to avoid the necessity of probate to transfer the title. In pertinent part, it says:

“At the request of the owner and on payment of a fee prescribed by the department by rule, the certificate of title may contain, by attachment, a transfer on death provision where the owner may designate a beneficiary of the title.”

Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) provides a simple, one-page form to complete. You can either go to a local MVD office, or download Form 96-0561 by going to then under the Motor Vehicles category clicking on Forms and Publications, then clicking on the MVD Forms Library, and then selecting Form 96-0561 titled “Beneficiary Designation”

The form needs to be filled out and either signed in front of an MVD representative or signed in front of a notary. In the instance where more than one beneficiary is named, you will need to choose how they will receive title. The named beneficiaries do not have any ownership rights in the vehicle until after the original owner’s death, and the original owner may revoke the beneficiary designation at any time while he or she is still alive.

The Beneficiary Designation form is limited in use because it may only be used where there is one owner to the vehicle. Nevertheless, it is a significant ESTATE PLANNING tool which can be very useful in limited situations.

Need further help with your estate planning needs? Contact a Phoenix estate planning attorney for a free consultation. Platt & Westby is an AV rated law firm that has practiced in our community for over forty years We have offices in Phoenix, Arrowhead/Sun City, Litchfield Park, Scottsdale and Gilbert Arizona.  If you are interested in discussing your ESTATE PLANNING, contact our office by calling 602-277-4441 or visit to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.