When we talk about inheritance, we usually think about land, money, or a house, but rarely a classic car which is why a lot of people have no idea on what to when they inherit one, especially if they have no idea about its value, its make and model, or have little idea about cars altogether. There’s a lot of debate as what constitutes a ‘classic’, but in this context, we’ll be talking about vintage vehicles from the 80s or older. So, if you’ve recently inherited a classic vehicle from your late relative or friend, here are some tips on what to do next:
Take Care of the Ownership
The first thing you’d want to do is to ensure that the vehicle will be legally yours. In most cases wherein a valuable item is bequeathed through a fully detailed and uncontested will, it’s a lot easier to take legal ownership of the car. However, there will be a lot of paperwork and also taxes to pay when inheriting the vehicle. As such, you’re better off hiring an attorney to process the probate, which is the procedure of transferring the deceased belonging(s) to the inheritor(s). After the probate, you’ll be free to do whatever you want with the vehicle.
The next step would be to find out how much the vehicle is worth through an appraisal. You’ll want to find an appraiser who’s experienced with vintage vehicles, they’ll be able to assess its condition and determine its value if you’re looking to sell (or even salvage the parts). Even if you do prefer using the car or keeping it as an heirloom or trophy instead of selling it, it’s still important to have it appraised. By knowing how it’s worth, it’s easier to have it ensured if it ever gets damaged or stolen when you’re using it or keeping it in your garage.
Insurance is A Must
After the appraisal, you’d want to have the automobile insured, and not just with the standard driving insurance (if you’re planning on using it). There are insurance companies that can provide better insurance for these types of vehicles, providing a better level of (financial) protection if your car is ever damaged, stolen, or is destroyed due to an unfortunate house fire.
You’d be lucky if the classic car you’re inheriting is in working condition and can be driven to your home, but transporting a vintage car could be quite tricky especially if it’s far away (say, in a another state) or isn’t in top shape (or can’t be driven at all). As such, you always have the option to have it transported or shipped, there are companies that can do that for you. But, if you think it’s not worth the trouble, you could always just sell it.
For those who wish to sell the vehicle, you should listen to the appraiser if it’s better to have it sold in its current condition or if it’s better to restore it first to make it easier to sell. But, if you’d rather drive it or keep it as a trophy in your garage, restoring it would be recommended. If you plan on driving it, it’s important to restore not only the exterior, but also the working parts such as the engine, transmissions, and functional components. So, make sure that you have the car restored and repaired in your trusted auto repair shop of choice before you take it out for a drive around Salt Lake City.
Inheriting a classic car is certainly a welcome surprise, but it’s best to know what to do with such an inheritance to make the most out of it. So, whether you wish to drive, keep, or sell it, do make sure that you follow these simple tips.