What will happen if my brother just passed away and had an outstanding large loan on a car he recently purchased?

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2015

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What will happen if my brother just passed away and had an outstanding large loan on a car he recently purchased?

There is no Will, no estate to speak of, no savings, no money in the bank, no insurance, no house, etc. There is only this car and 2 other outstanding bills. What are my options in paying for this vehicle? Do I just stop paying for the vehicle and let them come take it? Do I call the bank and let them know of his untimely death and the outstanding loan he had with them? If they take the vehicle will they come after someone for the remaining balance? My name is on the death certificate as next of kin. Will they attempt to collect the remaining balance from me?

Asked on February 15, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  This is a personal debt and it the debt of the borrower and the borrower's estate, not of his next of kin.  You should not be paying the loan.  You should call the lender and advise that he has passed and that he has no estate to be probated.  They may try and collect from you but that will be a scare tactic.  Make sure when you turn over the car you get a receipt.  Also make sure that what ever documents associated with the car - the registration for sure - are taken care of with the appropriate agency (DMV). and call the auto insurer as well. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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