WHAT happens to debt when someone dies? My dad recently passed away, and there was debt left, my mum now does not know if the debt dies with the deceased or not.

If the debt was in joint names between them, then it is likely she will inherit the whole debt as it is joint and several.

But your father’s own debts are only enforceable over his estate.

If between funeral expenses and other debts there is nothing left over, then creditors either get nothing or a proportion of their repayment from the estate.

But if not paid or not fully paid, they cannot then go after a surviving spouse whose name is not on the debt.

THE deeds for my mum’s house are in her sole name. She has re-married and taken her new husband’s surname. We are wondering if anything needs to be done to change her name on her own title deeds either now or in the future, as she has not got round to doing this.

We are also wondering if her husband has a right to the house if she dies.

No action needs to be taken about the name.

When she comes perhaps to sell the house in the future, then the new deed to the purchase would be in her name as Mrs. XY, formerly Z.

That’s perfectly normal. As for the husband’s rights, has your mum made a will?

If not, then the husband has first call on the house as surviving spouse.

She can make a will and decide whether to leave the house to him or to you as children, perhaps giving him a right to live in it for the rest of his life.

MY daughter is 20 and attends college. Her father paid through the Child Support until August last year and told me that the course my daughter is doing means her father no longer has to pay maintenance. I thought he had to pay until education is finished even if that is over 18.

The law says a parent must aliment (support) a child under the age of 25 years who is reasonably and appropriately undergoing instruction at an educational establishment, or training for employment or for a trade, profession or vocation.

The CSA has different rules and 19 is the upper limit for their involvement.

Your daughter now has a continuing right to claim aliment directly from her father until she finishes college or reaches 25 whichever comes first.

She can if necessary take his father to court.

OUR neighbour erected a fence which is on our land. When we brought this to their attention as we want to lay a driveway, they told us it had been in place for 20 years plus, so can stay.

They are partly right.

The 20-year prescription (which is the technical legal term for long usage that makes something legal).

Their use of the fence must be backed up with an originating deed that on the face of it gives them a right to have the fence.

Without that their possession can be reversed. This is a technical legal matter and needs proper detailed analysis by a solicitor.