I cosigned for my brother-in-law's car. I have been making the payments because he has been sick. He just passed away. I do not want the car. His daughter still needs the vehicle. I can continue to make the payments or pay the loan off. I do not want to create any problem with the loan or ownership of the vehicle.

Which is the best way to ensure that the title can be transferred to my deceased brother-in-law's daughter with the least amount of hassle?

  • 4
    Can you edit and add a county tag. Also clarify the initial line says you co-signed for the loan. Are you also on the title of the car? Are there anyone else on the title of the car?
    – Dheer
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 6:08
  • 7
    Pay off the car, give to niece, there is no magical thing to this.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 11:35
  • Whose name(s) are on the title?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 20:02
  • 1
    State is going to be meaningful here. Different states have different title transfer requirements and many states have specific rules for family members. IMO, the thing to watch out for is inadvertantly creating a taxable situation for your niece-in-law.
    – quid
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Just because you co-signed the loan does not mean your name is on the title of the car. Check this first.

If your brother-in-law's name is the only name on the title, the car is part of his estate, and it will be dealt with according to the terms of his will, or whatever local rules apply to the intestate. You can discuss with the executor whether the estate should also pay off the loan. Since you've personally had no benefit from the vehicle, this seems reasonable.

If your name is the only name on the title, it is your car to do with as you please. Give it to your niece, but you may be liable for gift tax (or she may be, if you're not in the USA).

If both your and your brother-in-law's names are on the title, you will have to work out with the executor what portion of the car is yours, and what belongs to his estate.


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