What can we do to protect my late father’s estate if his live-in girlfriend is taking his assets?

My father recently died; he was not married however did have a girlfriend of 10 years. He did not leave a Trust or Will and we are currently starting probate. He owns a house and 2 vehicles. We just found out 5 days after his death his girlfriend changed the titles of the vehicles to her name through DMV. She has placed wheel locks on both vehicles. These vehicles are at my father’s house where she legally can stay until we are able to serve her with an eviction notice. We do understand this is fraud and are making a police report. What can we do in the meantime to make sure these vehicles are not sold or to prevent further loss to my fathers estate?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Have an attorney file a complaint seeking emergent ("urgent" or "emergency") relief in the form of a court order barring the girlfriend from moving, selling, transfering, encumbering, etc. any of your father's assets. Properly done, you can get the court order in a very few days. Let an attorney help you with this--it can be procedurally complex and is not for a non-lawyer. Speak to an attorney today--preferably one who handles estate and probate work.


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