The state of New Jersey has been known for taking a hard stand on student loans. However, it has now taken a reverse course, according to Financial Advisor in "N.J. Discharging Loans For Families of Deceased Students."
If a student passes away with outstanding student loan debt, then the federal government discharges the debt. Many private student loan companies also do this.
New Jersey, however, has been known for taking a tougher stand.
Not only would New Jersey still expect payment from the estate, it would require co-signers to pay, if the estate was unable to do so. This left many families deep in debt over the unrepaid loans of their deceased children.
The policy was roundly criticized for the burden that it left on grieving parents.
Attempts had been made to change the law and the state's policy to no avail. However, the state legislature has recently reversed course and will now discharge the debt of deceased students.
Reference: Financial Advisor (Feb. 21, 2017) "N.J. Discharging Loans For Families of Deceased Students."