Probating the Car

We get this question a lot. Hopefully, this succinct explanation will clear up misconceptions regarding disposition of a dead person’s vehicle when the decedent left no other “probateable” assets.

If a decedent leaves vehicles whose total value does not exceed $60,000, the decedent’s heirs may obtain title by making an application to the Secretary of State, as long as there is no other property for which letters of appointment are necessary. MCLA 257.236. The Secretary of State uses Form TR-29, Certification from the Heir to a Vehicle, which should be available at the local Secretary of State’s office. You can also click this link to download it.

The person signing the form certifies that there is no probate proceeding pending for the decedent’s estate and that no probate proceeding will be started in the future. If available, the vehicle title must be attached to this form.

The form requires that the year, make, body style, VIN, and title number be provided.