My husband passed away in May of this year. He owned a vehicle that was solely in his name. Due to financial struggles with his illnesss, the payments are being collected from a collection agency. Unfortunately, I am still struggling to pay bills due to there being only one salary now. Since my husband has passed and the vehicle is solely in his name, do I still have to make payments even if I submit his death certificate? If not, what are the consequences?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Generally you will want to open up an estate to deal with any assets or liabilities only in the deceased person's name. If your late husband did not have enough assets in his name to cover all the expenses the law says what order the bills get paid in but they are not ordinarily paid by the surviving spouse. Unless someone else's name is on the debt the debt should be resolved in the estate. The lender might have a right to repossess but that is a separate issue.
Ordinarily a spouse does NOT continue to pay medical expenses or other debts of the decedent if the estate is insolvent (that is, if the estate doesn't have enough money to go around).
I encourage you to seek legal counsel soon. While this post is not legal advice I hope it helps point you in the right direction.
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