It’s funny when I speak to many people about the importance of trusts. When it comes to their vehicles, they automatically think about the value. They’ll say things like, “Let’s put the 2014 Honda in a trust, but it’s probably not necessary for the 1999 Toyota with 175,000 miles because it’s old and not really worth anything.”
WRONG! In the eye of liability, all cars are created equal. First off, in most cases a car is far from an asset since it is constantly depreciating. With the exception of antique cars of course, and they are usually parked in a garage somewhere to stay out of trouble! So, regardless of the value, should you end up in an accident or someone else have an accident while using your vehicle, the flood gates are opened for them to look into what you own. Yes, of course there is insurance, but what if it lapses or won’t cover the damaged you caused? So, while many people believe that trusts are used only to protect assets, reducing or eliminating liability is equally as important. Because your car, truck or boat is frequently in motion, there is the constant risk that an event could occur to create liability for you.
And don’t forget about the vulture corporations out there looking to use your vehicle to steal money from you on a daily basis! By “corporations” I’m referring to the thieves that come disguised as government “municipalities” and place contracts against your license to extract money. Since they run the traffic courts you don’t have a chance! Let’s take the traffic cameras for instance…I mean could that be any more unconstitutional? A friend of mine recently received a ticket in the mail from a red light camera that is going against her license, but she wasn’t even driving the car! However, she has 2 cars in her personal name, she drives one of them while the other is used by her family. That means if you valet your car somewhere and they take the car for a ride around the corner or in the process of parking the vehicle in a separate lot drive through a red light, you have to pay for it! Yet, if there were an actual police officer as a witness to write the ticket, it would go against the license of the driver who committed the offense.
And this stands true for anyone using your vehicle who runs a toll or traffic signal. It doesn’t matter to the greedy municipality/corporations, they just use your vehicle to turn you upside down and shake whatever they can out of you with little effort. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t behind the wheel, it’s easier for them to steal from you than to figure out who was really driving. And it’s cheaper because it requires no manpower! For this reason I don’t believe anyone should “own” a vehicle. The vehicle I operate is not owned by me yet I am still in possession of the title. I get to use it as much as I want without the worry of unwanted contracts coming against me. Obviously I don’t want to bring any infractions onto myself by speeding or crashing into things, which invite one of their enforcers to the scene to create the contract with the driver’s license to extract the money from me. In other words, placing your car into a trust isn’t a reason to go around speeding and running red lights, it simply creates a separate between the driver’s license and vehicle so one doesn’t cause trouble for the other.
Now of course many of you may be thinking, “How do you place your car into a trust?” or “Isn’t it expensive to do this?” The process can be a little tricky if you are new to trusts, but it is quite straight forward. It is easy to move your car into a trust if you have possession of the title and own the vehicle outright. However, if the vehicle is financed you will need to communicate with the finance company to make them aware and see if they can work with you to change the title and still have a lien for the existing financing. It usually isn’t a problem, but it’s always important to speak with representatives who understand trusts whenever possible. I find it easier in states that use private third-party tag and title companies to assist the state in providing vehicle registrations for a small fee. Whether you are calling around for a tag and title company or dealing directly with the state department of motor vehicles, always ask to speak with someone who is familiar with registering a vehicle into a trust.
If you run into a few snags don’t get discouraged. You may have to deal with people ignorant to what you are doing or who just want to shut you down, but stay strong. The rules are no different for the Kennedy’s or Rockefeller’s, and you better believe all of their vehicles are buried in trusts! If you are looking for assistants with your trusts needs we are glad to assist. Please visit Trust Consulting Services to learn more.