I am my brothers legal guardian - he is incompetent.
My brother owns a auto he will not be able to use ever again. It is likely he will pass before long and my focus is on what, if anything I can do as a guardian to preserve the estate for his heirs.
I wanted to change his to title to car from BROTHER to BROTHER AND transfer on death to FATHER. I would not title it to me as that is just self dealing. The goal is to bypass probate.
My attorney advises me this would likely be considered overreaching my guardianship and reversed by the court if / when he passes.
Likely he is correct but would appreciate a second opinion or anything else to consider along the lines of protecting assets for the heirs (he left no will) in this case.
I agree with your lawyer that you cannot just make the beneficiary designation. However, you can ask the probate court for permission to add the TOD beneficiary designation on the car title. RC 2111.50 permits the court to consider approving contemplated gifts of a ward's assets. Even though this would not be an immediate gift, it likely could still be reviewed under the same standards. The court would likely want to know if your brother has a will and if so, is the car left to someone else. If there is no will, the court would want to know who would inherit from your brother when he dies.
You are in probate either way. Now, as Guardian, you'll have to get Pribate Court approval to alter title. Later, as Applicant, in a Summary Release, whomever appears on the Funeral Bill (if car value is 5000$ or less and bill equals or exceeds that value), or as Applicsnt in a standard Release of Assets if dollar limit exceeded.
The post-death process might be the easier option.
I agree with Mr. Watling. As a court-appointed guardian, you are already subject to the oversight of the Probate Court. You will need to court's permission to transfer title, either way.
Ms. Willi is a tax attorney, CPA, and Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Westerville, Ohio. She serves client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. Ms. Willi responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but her responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. Her posts are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for advice provided by an attorney or licensed tax professional. Her phone number is 614-890-0500 and her website is www.willilaw.com.
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