Transfer of Decedent's Title
When a vehicle is owned by two or more parties and the names on the front of the title are separated by the words or, or the term With Rights of Survivorship (WROS) then ownership automatically passes to the survivors when one party dies. The survivor(s) may take the title in their name or transfer ownership upon providing proof of death (i.e. death certificate, newspaper, obituary clipping, or a card from the funeral home of the deceased owner. Usually, a married couple owns a car as husband or wife which means the couple has WROS. When one of the parties dies ownership transfers to the other without having to go through probate and the individual may retitle in their name only or transfer ownership to another party.
When the title is only in the decedent's name or the vehicle is jointly held without rights of survivorship (words and, and/or used between names), transfer of ownership can only occur after an individual has been appointed by the court. Once appointed said individual, serving as the personal representative for the decedent, may legally assign the title to the new owner. The letter of appointment by the court for this individual must be attached to the title when it is presented to the Sarpy County Treasurer's Office. The appointment of the personal representative terminates one year after the closing statement is filed in court.
Personal Property Value
If the total value of all personal property in the decedent's estate does not exceed $50,000 and the title was issued in the decedent's name alone, the vehicle may be transferred without probate to a successor by submitting an Affidavit for Transfer of Decedent's Motor Vehicle (PDF). Before the person claiming to be the successor of the decedent submits the Affidavit, the following items must be satisfied:
- Thirty days must have elapsed since the death.
- No petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted.
- The Nebraska Certificate of Title is in the decedent's name alone.
- The Death Certificate must be attached to the completed Affidavit.
- Affidavit for Transfer must be completed including the signature of the successor which must be notarized.
- A completed Application for Certificate of Title (PDF) has been completed by the successor.
The successor must reside in Sarpy County. The fee for a Certificate of Title is $10.