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I know a person whose sister passed away a few years ago. Her estate did not go into probate because she had nothing besides a

San Diego, CA |

car, and she had no will. She has one surviving son who has no money. He paid off the vehicle, and wants to have the lien release forwarded to him. Ford Motor Company wont do it unless he provides them with a letter of administration, but the estate never went into probate. I was told an affidavit for collection of personal property, pursuant to Cal Probate code section 13100 would be appropriate, however, I am not certain he qualifies under items 7-9 as being the successor of interest under section 13006 because of the son. However, he is the one that paid off the vehicle, and the son does not care. Could this form still be used?

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Attorney answers 4


If the son is an adult, have him sign the affidavit and he can then sign the car over to the brother. If the son is a minor that complicates things because he cannot enter into a contract. You would likely need a court order in that case.


Attorney James is giving good advice. While the affidavit should be enough, corporate creditors often demand to see a copy of letters of administration before they will even discuss a file. They don't have an option to ignore the affidavit. There are penalties if they do. The key is to get the file moved up to a manager who make a decision or the legal department. Unfortunately, your friend's nephew may end up needing an attorney to get it done. If the son doesn't have the money to pay an attorney, then he may qualify for Legal Aid Services or your find could pay the fees to get the vehicle.


In case you need a referral, here is the link to the San Diego Bar Association -

Mr.Scalise offers a FREE 30 minute phone consultation; he may be reached at 805-244-6850 or by email ( My responses to questions posted here intended as helpful legal information not legal advice. The information I post does not create an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Scalise is licensed to practice law in California. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state, and retain him/her. Mr. Scalise provides “unbundled” services for specific assistance with a specific issue.O work with clients throughout California.


This happens often. In California the affidavit would suffice but it must be signed on behalf of all the heirs, i.e. the son and any siblings, and parents if they are alive. If they join in the affidavit or waive any interest in the vehicle in the affidavit then these documents should work for Ford or any other creditors. Best to seek assistance from an attorney in drawing up the Affidavit.