California uses grant deeds to transfer a property's title of ownership from an old owner (grantor) to a new owner (grantee). The grant deed guarantees that the property hasn't been deeded to anyone other than the grantee, and it also guarantees that there aren't any liens on the property other than what the grantor has already disclosed. To get a new grant deed, the grantor must have signed and notarized the deed before his death; however, California law can be tricky, so proceeding with an attorney's help is wise.
Review the county recorder's property records. Grant deeds are often recorded with the town or county recorder. If you have lost the copy of the grant deed, the recorder may have one filed already. Records are frequently available online as well.
Hire an attorney. Explain that you are the grantee on a grant deed document, the grantor has died and you need to secure a new grant deed. You must be able to provide evidence that you are the property's grantee. If the property was part of a living trust or the property was given to you in the decedent's will, give the document to the attorney. A signed and notarized copy of the grant deed may be among the decedent's papers.
Record the deed with the county recorder. If you do not have the deed but there is ample evidence that the property belongs to you (because you're the beneficiary of the property in the decedent's will, for example), the executor may be able to deed you the property. If the executor issues a quitclaim deed, be sure to purchase a title insurance policy to protect against potential future property ownership claims.