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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55605
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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My Father passed away in California earlier this month. Im

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My Father passed away in California earlier this month. I'm both the executor of his will and successor trustee of his revocable living trust. All his assets were placed in the trust, however the title of his vehicle is in his name. I want to distribute the vehicle to my sister for an agreed upon value to be deducted from here share of the trust assets. My question is, can I just sign the Certificate of Title as the executor of his estate or do I have to fill out the 'Affidavit for transfer without probate California titled vehicle or vessels only' as 'Turstee, under trust agreement...' and then sing that title?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Since you are not probating the will (which means you will not be officially appointed executor by the probate court and issued documentation evidencing your appointment as executor) because the estate only has this asset and the remaining assets were transferred to the trust, you will have to complete Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate. I'm presuming you have the applicable form, but if not you can download it at:

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thank you for your response. For some reason I wasn't notified it was ready... so I'm just finding it now. The will is a 'pour-over will' which states that all my fathers assets 'no matter how titled' or 'when acquired' are assets of the Trust. Does this make any difference for your answer?

Thank you


Thanks so much for following up and I'm so sorry for the delay. JA has experienced some technical issues the last few days. I apologize for any inconvenience!

If the will directs that all the assets go to the trust, then the vehicle (or the proceeds from the sale of the vehicle) would need to go to the beneficiary of the trust. So, you would either: i) use the affidavit to sell the vehicle from the estate and put the proceeds in the trust to be distributed to the beneficiary; ii) use the affidavit to transfer the vehicle title to the trust and then sell the vehicle from the trust as trustee and distribute the proceeds from the trust; or iii) transfer the vehicle to the beneficiary of the trust.
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