We want to leave our cars to our children. What’s the best way?

Q: My wife and I own two cars. Our wills give one car to our son and the other car to our daughter. To prevent a lot of legal problems when we pass away, should we sign over the title to both cars now and leave the date blank until they sell the cars? Both kids said they wanted to sell the cars after we were gone.

A: You shouldn’t do this.

For starters, you might decide to sell your cars before you die. If you have already signed over the property to your children, this can complicate the exchange or sale.

But more importantly, your children can easily sell the cars using form VTR-262, which is called “Motor Vehicle Inheritance Affidavit.” This form allows them to sell the cars as long as they do so before they probate your wills or until probate of your wills is required.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Answers to your legal questions

Of course, if you own other assets, such as a house or bank account, that need to be probated, then there will be zero cost savings using Form VTR-262, since your children will still need to hire an attorney and go through testament.

Q: I am having a problem with transferring ownership of my deceased wife’s car to my name. Two clerks at the Tomball Tax Assessor’s office told me that I should have letters testamentary. My lawyer confirmed her will as a title deed, so I don’t have the aforementioned letters. My lawyer suggested I go to another tax office. What can I do to transfer ownership?

A. You should have used Form VTR-262 (mentioned in the previous answer) to transfer property before starting the probate of property because it is technically too late to use this form now.