If nothing passed into probate I assume she had a revocable trust. If she did not, then probate in CA is required for all property.
If you cannot locate him, you can obtain court permission to provide notice by periodical - and put an ad in the local paper at the location where he was believed to reside last. This will be sufficient for service of process, and you can then proceed to divide the assets properly by intestate succession or by the terms of the trust.
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When the decedent's estate is $150K or less in value, California does not require you to use the probate court. You can use a simplified procedure to transfer the estate property to the beneficiaries without a court order. For estates with personal property only, like the vehicle,you can use an affidavit that complies with California Probate Code Section 13100 to acquire the property. You give the holder of the property the affidavit along with a certified copy of the decedent's death certificate. At least 40 days must have passed since the decedent's death before this procedure can be used. Here is a link to the affidavit - http://www.saclaw.lib.ca.us/Uploads/files/forms/AffidavitCollectionOfPersonalProperty.pdf
You can list son on #7.
Brother can complete #8
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I am sorry you are having such a tough time transferring this car. For such a small asset you are up against a lot of issues that really have no simple answers. If you would like to give me a call I can give you some suggestions.
I agree with my colleagues, but your situation sounds very strange. How can her heirs be her brother and son? What makes the brother an heir at all, if there is a son? If the son disclaims any interest in the estate, the brother might become an heir. But that is the son's decision to make, and it does not sound like he is likely to do that.
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