Ask the expert: I’d like to sell my home to pay off my granddaughter’s college debt but want to be fair to everyone

I have a granddaughter who lives in America with my son and daughter-in-law. My other two grandchildren live in Ireland and obviously I get to see them more often, and this is a source of great joy to me as I lost my wife some years ago. However, I feel guilt over this girl as a result and was shocked recently to learn that she is carrying college loans of well over €25,000 (even after President Biden’s recent intervention on student debt) which may not permit her to carry on her education. I would like to help. My home is my only real asset but it is valued at around €800,000. If I were to sell it, something I have been long considering, what would I be permitted to offer this girl now, and can I leave a similar amount after I’m gone to the others who are not yet teenagers? I want to be fair.

Sinead replies: What a lovely grandfather you sound. In the US student debt is a way of life, accompanying many into their middle life, compared to here where it tends to be shorter lived at least.

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