Does a car in california need to be registered to a living trust to avoid probate?
2 Answers from Attorneys
It depends on the value of the car. Normally no; however, as a general rule in California, when preparing a trust, most attorney's prepare an assignment assigning all personal property (such as cars, and other personal property of minimal value) to the trust. The vehicle does not usually have to be formally transferred into the trust.
It depends. If the total value of the decedent's estate (not including trust assets and assets with a valid beneficiary designation or in joint tenancy) is no more than $150,000, the heirs can get title to the vehicle with a small estate affidavit (the DMV has its own form for this.)