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No will left by deceased

Discussion in 'Estate Administration & Probate Court' started by Niella, Aug 2, 2022.

  1. Niella

    Niella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi,

    My long time partner of over 10 years suddenly passed away 2 months ago leaving no will behind him. We had a place together but also he had a place of his own for work purpose. We had several things under both names and some with just his name. Unfortunately, my car title (Lexus) was under his name but the insurance was under mine. Lexus payments, registration and maintenance was done by me since it was my car. I fully paid my car. Few weeks ago on 07/07, the mother of his 23 years old son, came to my street, at night when I was sleeping, and drove away with my Lexus. I got an email from her the following morning telling me she took the car. When I called the police to report a stollen car, they told me that the car title was transfer from my partner name to the woman name and it shows " pending master file at the dmv". Also, our second car (Honda) was on a process to be transfer to my name, it was just missing the smog check to finalize the transfer. I have the title of Honda but somehow she was able to sell it without the title . The cars keys ,she got, were both extra keys, she found from his house in San Jose. When I checked online both cars were registered on 07/08 in San Diego county. It was my understanding since he passed away without a will, it should be a probate hearing. I was waiting to hear from them, their lawyer or the city of san Jose.
    I never got an email, text or letter from anyone. Is there anything I can do to get my cars and my valuables? Thanks
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Your understanding is wrong. If the value of the estate is less than $166,250, the small estate process can be used. Without a will, the laws of intestate succession apply. There doesn't appear that you have any claim (let alone a superior one) to anything in the estate. "Shacked up with" is not something that is recognized. Absent a legal spouse or children, the parents are the heirs. In fact, the state itself has a superior claim to you.
     
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  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It appears that the 23 year old son is the heir to everything your boyfriend owned and you end up with nothing.
     
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  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. If she can prove that the deal between the deceased and herself for the Lexus was that it was her car and she made all the payments on it, then she can seek to get the Lexus back. I won't get into the details of how that is done here. She needs to see an estate attorney ASAP. Time is not on her side for this.
     
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  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I assume you mean boyfriend, as opposed to business partner (although it doesn't really matter).

    Do you own or rent?

    Did he own or rent?

    How was she able to do this? Did she or her son have a key?

    "The woman" being the mother of your boyfriend's son?

    What does "on a process" mean? Either it was in his name or it wasn't.

    I'm not following. The only way for a GOOD sale to be made is with a written transfer of title.

    I'm not sure what "it should be a probate hearing" or why you would expect to hear from a city (is San Jose where he lived at the time of death?). Regardless, since he died without a will and was not married and had a child (presumably his only child), the surviving son inherits the entire probate estate. You have no claim to anything (subject to what "Tax Counsel" mentioned), with the exception of personal effects that may have been in the cars.
     
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  7. Niella

    Niella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am not try to get anything from his estate except the cars.

    Sorry for my poor english. I am not from here.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you start a dialog with his son (and, if necessary, the son's mother) and see if you can negotiate something,
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    To expand on the above post:

    California has a process to transfer a vehicle that is owned by a deceased person without going through probate. The process is outlined here: 11.185 Transfer Without Probate (CVC §5910 and California Probate Code §§6401, 6402, 13050 and 13100) - California DMV

    I am no saying that's what happened here, or if it's even appropriate in this situation, but it may be how the titles were transferred.
     
  10. Niella

    Niella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Should I do it with small claim court or civil law

    since it looks like the titles were transferred outside of probate do I need to :

    1) start a probate process and probate litigation
    2) file a civil lawsuit against the woman(mother of the son)
    3) something else

    what court process and forms do I need to file? How to do this.

    I have contacted 15 law offices and i have not received a returned calls.

    thanks,
     
  11. Niella

    Niella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I already tried to reach them but they didn't answer back to me.
     
  12. Niella

    Niella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    since it looks like the titles were transferred outside of probate do I need to :

    1) start a probate process and probate litigation
    2) file a civil lawsuit against the woman(mother of the son)
    3) something else

    what court process and forms do I need to file? How to do this.

    I have contacted 15 law offices and i have not received a returned calls.

    thanks,
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    This is not a probate issue., really. You're not an heir. You have no inheritance rights.

    The issue (as Tax Counsel) puts it is whether there was any contractual relationship with the deceased as to the rights to the car. If he were alive and refused to turn it over to you it would be the same as you trying to get it from the estate.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is no legal requirement, nor do they have a legal duty to communicate with you.

    Quite frankly, when most people lose a loved one to death, they grieve.

    People also mourn, and most wish to be left alone to do so.
     
  15. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    ...and if the car(s) has/have already been sold, then the OP can only expect, at best, to recover money, not the car(s).
     
  16. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Small claims court IS civil court. How much are these cars worth?

    You have no standing to do anything in probate court. If you think you can prove, with competent evidence, a contract by which your deceased boyfriend agreed to transfer title of one or both vehicles to you in exchange for you doing something for him (the legal term is consideration), then you will need to sue. You would name the current title holder and, if different, whomever has possession of the vehicles. Do you have any evidence -- other than your testimony -- of a contract with your deceased boyfriend?
     

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