My mother was in a car accident and died. Her boyfriend's name is on the title and financing of the vehicle. She made all of her payments on the car. Is he entitled to all of the money since the car was totaled out?

  • 8
    Sorry for your loss, whose name is on the car’s title? i.e. who owned the car? Oct 8, 2019 at 1:42
  • 4
    More important, whose name is on the car's insurance policy? If it has collision & comprehensive insurance that you expect to pay the car's value. But as a practical matter, the payoff from the insurance is likely to all go to the finance company.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 8, 2019 at 2:44
  • Yet another reason why you should not pay non-family debt.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 11, 2019 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


I am sorry for your loss and the most important thing is to remain calm during this difficult time. The tone of your question suggests that there might be an adversarial relationship with the boyfriend.

"All the money" is a vague term. So let us break it down a bit.

The car: My assumption is that the car was totaled. So first, the insurance company will pay the bank that holds the note on the car. If the car was worth less than the loan there is a shortfall, and the owners may have to pay the difference. That sounds like the boyfriend. Likewise, if the car was worth more than the note, he would get any left over money.

Boy friend's medical bills: he is entitled to have his medical care, paid for that resulted in the accident.

Liablity: The boy friend may have ground for a liability suit. If he does, and he wins, yes he is entitled to all of that money.

However, you (and the heirs of your mom) may also have grounds for a liability suit. If you win such a suit, then you are entitled to all of that money.

It is tricky to navigate things, so this is the best advice you can receive during this difficult time is: Get a lawyer.

I would avoid talking to, and certainty not arguing with the boyfriend. It does not accomplish anything other than make you upset in an already difficult time.

  • 1
    Minor nit: this doesn't distinguish between financing and ownership yet. The boyfriend's name can be on the loan but not the title, in which case he is responsible for any shortfall but not entitled to any leftover money. That point still needs to be clarified by the OP.
    – chepner
    Oct 8, 2019 at 16:41
  • @chepner your point is well taken, and I made a lot of assumptions. It seems to me that most of the time a person is on the loan they are also on the title despite being designated as cosigner or whatever. So an assumption that probably will not be cleared up by the OP.
    – Pete B.
    Oct 8, 2019 at 17:15
  • I checked his was on the loan and title. So the insurance paid him what was left after car was totaled.. He was not in the car at the time of the accident. Her injuries was caused by the air bags according to the trauma doctor she suffered an internal decapitation. Oct 11, 2019 at 18:40
  • @Barbara House: But if his name is on the title (alone, not jointly with your mother), then legally it was his car, which he was letting your mother drive.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 12, 2019 at 18:16
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    Yes there are problems with the boy friend since her death, he seems to think he can call the shots but fail to realize that he don't her children does. We all in the beginning agreed that we had no problems with him continuing to stay in her house, but that all has changed because of his attitude. Hired a probate lawyer, so now because of his nasty attitude he will have to pay rent or vacate the house on his own or papers will be filed for eviction. Oct 13, 2019 at 0:45

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