Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Could you explain a little more?
Is there a Will?
Is your father's estate now in probate Court?
If there is no Will, then your father's assets would be distributed pursuant to Intestate Succession Statute. See California Probate Code Sections 6400-6414. His mother has no legal obligation to hand over the car to you just because your father stated his intention to give the car to you. Since he did not carry out his intention before his death and deliver the car to you, your case would be handled very differently from your brother's who has already received his gift. Since your father’s intention was not written down in the form of a Will, his mother just cannot give the car to you without going through the proper proceeding as other relatives may have a claim to the car pursuant to Intestate Succession Statute. See California Probate Code Section 6402. His mother may decide to probate his estate before deciding to let you have the car. Letters from relatives and friends will not change the legal status of your case.
If his mother does not want to probate his estate, but refuses to give you the car, you can petition for probate of the estate so that you can obtain proper title to the car. For California probate process, click on the link below:
Do you have additional question?
Probate Court has a cost. You would have to pay the Court filing fees. The Court has schedule of fees that you can review:
As for your chances of winning, I am in no position to answer that question because I am not privy to all the facts in the case or what his mother and other witnesses brought forward would say. The Court would evaluate ALL the evidence presented in the case before making a decision on whether you should get the car.