Why You Should Never Gift Money to Your Children

We all want to support our children in various ways, including financially. Whether it's helping them with their first car, covering school fees for our adorable grandchildren, or even assisting them in buying a home, our parental instincts kick in to lend a helping hand.

But here's the thing: simply giving away money can come with risks that we may not have considered. What if our child goes through a divorce, faces bankruptcy, or deals with health issues?

These unforeseen circumstances can have a significant impact on their financial well-being, not to mention our own. That's where parent-to-child loans come into play, providing a smart alternative to outright gifts.

The potential pitfalls of unprotected gifts

Imagine this: Mum and dad decide to give their daughter, Barbie, a whopping $800,000 to purchase a house. Barbie happily marries the charming Ken, and they build a life together. However, ten years down the road ,Barbie and Ken sadly end up getting divorced.

The house, which was the only asset acquired during their marriage, is still worth $800k. Now, here's the kicker: despite the fact that the money Barbie received was a gift from her parents, the Family Court decides to distribute the assets, awarding a portion of the house's value to her ex-spouse. Ouch!This outcome could have been avoided had the parents structured the transaction as a loan rather than a gift.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves and our children's financial futures?

The answer lies in legally prepared Parent-to-Child Loan Agreements. By establishing a solid Loan Agreement, we can safeguard our loans and ensure that both parties are legally protected. It's worth noting that homemade loan agreements may not carry as much weight in legal proceedings, such as the Family Court or Bankruptcy Court. To avoid unnecessary risks, it's best to leave it to the professionals.

Now, you might be thinking, "But I love my child! Isn't a loan a bit harsh?" Trust us, we understand. There's nothing wrong with helping our children financially; it's a natural instinct to want to support them. Whether it's contributing to their first car, their dream holiday, or even their property, we want to be there for them.

However, it's important to consider the potential risks involved. Life can throw unexpected curveballs, such as divorces, bankruptcies, health issues, or even strained relationships. Just like the famous King Lear who gave away his kingdom for his daughters' love, only to be abandoned by them, we need to protect ourselves and our children from such situations.

So, here's the plan...

Instead of giving money to your children, consider lending it to them. Treat yourself like a bank, and your children as borrowers. Create a loan agreement that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, stating that it's repayable on demand.

By adopting this approach, you not only protect your own interests but also safeguard your child's financial security. And hey, we get it—life can be unpredictable. That's why, in the future, you can choose to forgive the loan while you're still alive or incorporate it into your estate planning, should circumstances permit.

 To wrap it up, while it's natural to want to support our children financially, it's crucial to consider the long-term implications and potential risks of unconditional gifts. By documenting parent-to-child loans through legally prepared Loan Agreements, we establish a solid legal foundation to protect both ourselves and our children. Remember, ensuring your family's financial future should be a priority, and taking the necessary steps to safeguard your loans is a proactive and responsible approach.

Arrange a chat with one of our expert team members today to secure the financial well-being of your children.