Sign asking what happens to debt, such as a car loan, after you dieThe creditor that extended the auto loan to your loved one will want to be paid after your loved one dies. Even as you grieve, arrangements must be made to satisfy the loan.

Options for Paying Off a Car Debt After Death

Auto or other personal vehicle loans are usually handled in one of five ways after a person dies in Louisiana. The vehicle creditor’s claim may be satisfied if:

  • The estate pays off the loan in full. Your loved one’s will may direct the executor to pay the debt with the estate assets. If the loan is paid in full by the estate, other people will not be responsible for monthly payments.
  • The co-signor continues to make monthly payments. If a co-signor or co-borrower on the loan survives your loved one, the surviving co-signor remains responsible for paying the debt after your loved one’s death, unless other arrangements are made.
  • The surviving spouse continues to make monthly payments. Louisiana is a community property state, which makes spouses jointly responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, including vehicle loans, in some cases.
  • The person inheriting the car continues making loan payments or pays off the debt in full. Your loved one’s will may leave the vehicle to a specific person with the stipulation that the person also takes over making loan payments and becomes legally responsible for repaying the loan.
  • The lender repossesses the vehicle. If the debt is not paid according to the terms of the loan, the creditor may repossess the vehicle.

We Can Advise You on Paying Car Loans or Other Debt in a Loved One’s Estate

Our experienced Louisiana succession lawyers know that you have decisions to make after a loved one dies. We can advise you on your options to make sure that all of the estate’s financial obligations are met and to help you settle your loved one’s estate. Call us, or complete our online form to have us contact you.


Brad Scott
Experienced estate planning, estate litigation and Louisiana succession attorney.
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