The ESTATE is responsible.
Consult with an attorney who can review your situation and explain your options, if any.
The spouse is not responsible and should not have this on her credit. But the estate of the deceased will still be responsible for the debt.
Creditors/lenders will attempt almost anything to collect a debt. It is unlikely that a lender could place a claim against a deceased cosigner's estate and be awarded a judgment. But, there are no certainties in the murky creditor vs. debtor arena.
In most countries the state takes over the estate and distributes it to the deceased's relatives in accordance with the law. If no relatives can be found the estate becomes the property of the state.
In some states the money will go the estate of the deceased winner.
The estate is responsible for the maintenance of the property. The administrator or executor of the estate can submit a claim on behalf of the estate.
It goes into the deceased's estate.
The estate of the second deceased can be sued. A claim should be filed against the estate immediately.
She is interfering with the distribution of the estate. She can be sued.
Without some other duty owed the creditor (ie: cosigner on a loan, executor of estate obligated to pay creditor out of estate assets), there is no responsibility for the sibling of the deceased to pay the debts of the deceased. Further, the executor of an estate has no personal liability to pay debts of the deceased beyond the available funds of the estate. ---- Atty. John Libertine is providing this information for research purposes only, and is not offering legal advice. Licensing information is subject to change.
The entire estate goes to the state in which the deceased had resided.