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I am so sorry for your loss.
If your ex wife is denying you access, it is futile to retain these services or an arbitrator because they can only get involved if you both agreed to give them access to evaluate the property. Here's what I would do: while it is unnecessary to file for probate due to the amount, it is not FORBIDDEN that you do so. You can, as her dad, apply to be appointed your daughter's personal representative and once appointed can, with the power of the court behind you, order your wife to allow access. Also, if there was a lawsuit to be brought from the accident, you can do that.
Small claims in CA has a $7,500 limit and no power to award anything but money generally. A Court order for the inventory would have to be sought in CA Superior Court and would again involved an attorney, etc. Sorry.
Again, small claims courts do not have what we call EQUITY power, only the right to award money (plus landlord tenant evictions usually). You would have to apply to the court in which your daughter lived when she died. Then you could bring proof of your appointment to whatever state(s) in which the personal property is located to take possession of it. Should you forget about it? That is totally up to you.
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