How do I become an administrator of a deceased person’s assets?

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How do I become an administrator of a deceased person’s assets?

My grandfather died about a month ago with no will. He didn’t have enough assets to go into probate. Before he passed he left me his car, I have the pink slip in hand. The DMV advised I need to become the “Administrator of Assets” before I can transfer the car to my name. What steps do I need to take at this point?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Joseph Gasparrini

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Evidently the car was still in his name when he died.  Therefore, it will be necessary to file with the probate court in order to get the car transferred into your name.  You should contact the probate court that has jurisdiction for the county in which he lived and ask about the proper forms to be filed for a decedent that died without a will and who left a small estate.  In many states there are streamlined probate procedures that apply to small estates.  Therefore, the probate process may be simpler than you might think.  You will need to apply to the probate court in order to be appointed administrator of your grandfather's estate.  Then you will receive the required certificate of appointment that you need to provide to the DMV in order to transfer the car.


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