Sunday, March 29, 2009

Public Service Announcement

After the second person told me that I should not have my car titled to both my husband and myself jointly, I finally decided to ask why.

It was explained to me that if my car is titled to both of us and the house is titled to both of us, in the case where someone may have cause to file a lawsuit against me related to an accident I have in my car, if the title is in both names, they could have recourse to file suit against my other possessions including my house, which is in both of our names. In the same scenario, if my car is only titled to me, they would not be able to attach to the house because it is a joint possession. This also holds true for children in your household that are driving. Their car should be titled in their name for the same reason.

Now, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but this was stated to me by two lawyers, so I think it is pretty reliable information. However, this disclaimer keeps me from being held legally responsible, blah.blah.blah.etc

Feel free to weigh in on this topic.


Chris said...

That's interesting. Yet another example of how far the law manages to go to avoid common sense.

For the past ten years or so we've had an umbrella liability policy that goes above and beyond the liability insurance provided by our auto and homeowners insurance. It's just additional protection in the event of the type of lawsuit you are describing. The rates are quite reasonable.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...


I thought you WERE supposed to have it in both names, so that if one died, it would go to the other without any probate hassles...? Don't remember how I heard that, though, so I'm probably way wrong.


Reen said...

I had understood the same as Kelly, but I suppose it depends on the size of ones "estate" vs that of the joint "estate".... Further legal and tax advice would be needed here - in addition to understanding the difference in the inheritance laws at a federal vs state level.

I also have an umbrella policy - very inexpensive piece of mind.

As a final comment - I am old enough to remember how hard it was for me, as a woman, to get credit. Therefore, MY car - MY loan - MY title.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Hmm, I wonder if it depends on which state you live in too?

Sounds like there are arguments on both sides. And the chances of someone suing you for a hypothetical accident that you aren't going to cause anyway, and going past policy limits and winning are probably not worth worrying about.

However, if you're a worrier, an umbrella policy does sound like a great idea.