If I co-signed a loan many years ago and the person recently passed away am I responsible for the loan? 1 Answers as of March 08, 2011

I co-signed a loan many years ago and the person passed away recently, am i responsible for the loan when I was assuming it was already paid off? and if so what options do I have?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
First, co-signing a note is one of the worst things anyone can do, since it places the entire burden upon you if the other person fails to pay and it gives you no benefit, even if they do pay. Nonetheless, I'm sure you've heard that too many times already, but others will be reading this too, so that's why it was included.

As for whether you must pay the debt if the actual debtor has died, the answer is it depends upon whether he paid it off already or not. It will also depend upon whether his estate has the necessary funds with which to pay it off now that he is already dead. If the estate can pay it off, then that's the best alternative. You should submit a claim against the estate to pay the debt to make sure the Executor or Administrator knows about it and pays it off first before anything else gets paid. Otherwise, you could get stuck paying it if the estate defaults too. That would also trigger the original debtor's estate to check to see whether the debt has already been paid off or not. If not, make sure it gets paid by the estate as soon as possible. Usually every Will directs the Executor to pay off all debts as the first order of business. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/8/2011
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