They absolutely can not recover debt from another individual unless it was also in their name (i.e. joint accounts). Some debt collectors will try it, but you can easily tell them to go hang.
(source: experience with this and with debt collections agencies)
Indeed, debt is individual, no-one can claim you have to pay for something unless you were a signatory to the original contract. Being related to someone does not magically make you a signatory to anything.
The only 2 aspects of debt on someone's death are that a) it doesn't 'die with them' - it is taken from their estate in order of secured debt, non-secured debt, and then finally any left over goes to beneficiaries and b) next of kin is not responsible for it, unless they are joint signatories on the debt.
Oh, and in the case of some types of loans that also includes guarantors.
Indeed, but a guarantor is basically a 'backup signatory' to a contract, so are effectively party to the debt anyway.
Originally Posted by synaesthesia
Indeed. Making sure all the bases are covered as different providers/sharks will use different terms, sometimes to catch people out.