If my brother died in his daughter’s car and she had a loan that was not paid by the insurance, who should pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my brother died in his daughter’s car and she had a loan that was not paid by the insurance, who should pay?

My brother died in a drunk driving accident 10 moths ago. He was at fault and

driving his college-aged daughter’s auto. The daughter was studying abroad and wasn’t in the country. The insurance company paid $9,000 but there was an additional $5,700 balance on the car. My sister-in-law has collected numerous assets of my brother’s, including 4 homes and his life insurance. However, she will not pay for my niece’s car the girl is my brother’s biological daughter nor has my sister-in-law shared any of his assets with his daughters. It seems to me that my brother’s estate should pay for this accident. Is there anything we can do to help our niece?

Asked on September 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your neice can sue her father's estate since he was at-fault in causing the accident. She woud have to sue, if the estate will not voluntarily pay this: your brother caused the accident, but the car was not his--he did not owe the balance on it to the lender or dealership; she did. Since he was not the one directly responsible for the car's cost, the estate would only have to pay if she sued it, the way she would sue any other at-fault driver who damaged or destroyed her car, and proved the liability for the accident in court.

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