North Highlands, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: Do we have to go through probate for just a mobile home?

My father just passed away. He only had $30,000 in a bank acct that my brother is on too. He left ZERO debt and there is no dispute between sibling. There is just a mobile home valued at about $25,000 at most. Do we have to go through probate because there was no will? How do transfer it so that we can sell it?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in California

A: You can probably use a Small Estate Affidavit to collect both the bank account and the mobile home. No need to file anything in court. Any probate attorney licensed in California can help you with this for a very modest fee.

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Jose, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I agree with Nina. It's a simple matter to collect an asset with a small estate affidavit. You can find a sample of a small estate affidavit for the bank account on the Sacramento County Superior Court website (which is good for any county in the State of California) (good instructions too, and it's fill-in-the-blank for easy use). And a simple matter to change the registration on your mobile home through the State of California Housing and Community Development (HCD) website (search for non-probate transfers of manufactured home for the form). You may want a lawyer to help you with the forms, but see if you can't do them yourself first and save yourself some attorney's fees.

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, Mobile Homes are registered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If there is a transfer on death beneficiary designated on the title of the Mobile Home, you can use the Department's internal form to transfer title. If there is not a transfer on death beneficiary, you should be able to transfer title using the affidavit procedure under Probate Code section 13100. Please note that if the mobile home is on leased or rented property, you should keep the rents current pending sale. I suggest that obtain a copy of the mobile home's registration and consult with an attorney on how to proceed.

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