What should I do about my wife's car loan if she passed away?

"My wife passed away unexpectedly. She still owes quite a bit on her car loan, which has negative equity.

I don't want to keep the car and am not sure what my options are.

What should I do?"

Answer provided by
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Eric Schad
Answered on Jun 07, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
“Sorry for your loss.
It all depends on whether the loan was in your name or not. If the loan is exclusively in your wife’s name, the car becomes part of her estate. If you’re the executor of her estate, you can use her savings or other funds she left to you to pay off the loan.
If you don’t have the money from her will, you’ll have to pay off the loan yourself. The smart move here, if you don’t want the car, is to pay enough toward the loan to eradicate the negative equity and then sell the car.
If your name is on the loan, and she was just a cosigner, you’re free to do whatever you want. Because the loan is upside-down, you won’t be able to sell it without a balance left on the loan. You won’t be able to refinance it either. Hope this helps.”
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