How Coloradans Might Best Handle Designating an Heir for a Vehicle

Colorado Springs attorney and business columnist Jim Flynn has cited a recent court case as a reminder to Coloradans that the state has a statute allowing a vehicle owner to sign a transfer-on-death instruction to handle what is done with a vehicle when the owner dies. The document for this is Department of Revenue Form DR2009, which can be found at ttps://dmv.colorado.gov/sites/dmv/files/documents/DR2009.pdf. The form permits the transfer of a vehicle without having to go through probate or deliver a title certificate. Flynn described the case of a man who died intestate (without a will) in 2022 but who had made a video recording expressing his wish that his late model SUV go to someone he treated as an adopted daughter, though he had not legally adopted her. He had not, however, signed over a title for the vehicle to her before dying. His biological daughter then declined to deliver title for the vehicle to the “adopted” daughter, contending it was part of her father’s estate for which she was personal representative. The dispute ended up in court — at both district and appeals levels. Citing nuances in statutory language, judges eventually awarded the vehicle to the “adopted” daughter. But Flynn notes a properly completed DR2009 could have avoided all the hassle.

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