If you are left a car but there is still a loan on it, what do you do?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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If you are left a car but there is still a loan on it, what do you do?

My father left me a car in his Will and there is $5,000 owed. I would like to know what to do about getting my car. How does this debt get paid off because my mother is not willing to have the Will read until she is ready.

Asked on August 31, 2011 Maryland


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  First of all, was the car owned out right by your father at the time of his death or is it considered to be marital property?  That needs to be determined here. Next, about the loan on the car.  Is it in both your parent's name or is it in your Father's name alone? These issues need to be resolved.  Generally speaking, the loan on the car is a debt of the estate, meaning that the estate must pay the debt off prior to transfer.  I would, however, double check everything that I have raised here as a potential issue with the car and see what in face t you can do to move the probate of the Will along.  You can indeed do so as a potential beneficiary.  Good luck. 

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