What Happens to a car Lease After the car Lessee Passes away?
When a person leasing a vehicle passes away, most of the time the lease does not die with the person. The future of the car lease is determined by the provisions in the contract. Some car leases have death to be a cause of early termination. Often times, payments still need to be made and the payments become the responsibility of the deceased car lessee’s estate. Sometimes car dealerships will negotiate with the personal representative of the deceased’s estate and may be able to transfer the remaining lease to another person. Sometimes, a car dealership may waive the early termination due to the unfortunate situation, however this is not always the case. The future of the car lease solely depends on the provisions in the agreement and the willingness of the car dealership to negotiate of the deceased car lessee.
Who Claims Ownership of the Leased car?
If there is a co-signer on the lease, usually the car will just become the co-signers responsibility. The co-signer will continue making payments on the deceased person’s car and will just take over the lease. If the car dealership does not provide for early termination, sometimes the personal representative of the deceased car lessee’s estate will decide who will take over the lease. Most of the time, the car lease will become part of the deceased car lessee’s estate. If the estate has sufficient assets, the estate will be required to pay the remaining payments on the car lease.
Usually heirs of the deceased car lessee are not automatically required to take over the lease or make payments on the lease. If the family wants to use the car, they can continue to pay the lease payments after the car owner has passed away. Often times, the family will have to continue payments as they communicate with the car dealership as to how they want to proceed. However, family members will only be forced to take over the car lease if they signed an obligation agreeing to be liable for the car lease.