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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102191
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My husband passed 4/9/2013. He had a leased car from Lexus

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My husband passed 4/9/2013. He had a leased car from Lexus in his name only. I also have a leased car from Lexus. I cannot afford both car payments. Can I return the one in his name and it not affect my credit and do I have pay any money if he has none in his estate? Also am I responsible to call each creditor to let them know he has passed?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your loss and your situation.

In New York, spousal liability for the debts of who has passed on is slim. One is only liable for the debt wherein they joint debtors, such as a credit card in both of your names, for example.

Ergo, you are not liable for the debt of his Lexus. His estate is, and as a creditor, the leasing company can ask the estate to pay. However, they cannot ask you. Finally, if the estate has no money to cover the debt, then, the leasing company is out of luck.

Can I return the one in his name and it not affect my credit....

Yes, because as discussed earlier, his debt is the debt of his estate only, and not yours.

...and do I have pay any money if he has none in his estate?

Absolutely not. Provided that your Lexus was on a different contract (and I am guessing that it was), then his debt for his Lexus is that of the estate, not you.

Also am I responsible to call each creditor to let them know he has passed?

No. New York does not require the personal representative of the estate to search or send out notices to creditors. It is assumed that the creditor will reasonably send bills to the deceased person and the personal representative will learn of claims through these bills.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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