When is a Gift…No Longer a Gift?
There is something in many of us, a gift giving gene, a sense of wanting to help people, be generous, and share what we have.
And if someone is in need, this just makes that gene really come to the forefront and make us want to help.
However, why is there always a “however”, or a “but”, or some different perspective ro slant on something nice??? Anyway, there is.
However, not all gifts go as planned, to the recipient of the gift. There can be times when the giver, has a change of heart; something occurs to change their generous nature.
For some this is not a controversial topic or idea; a friend or family member needs financial help, and we help them. End of story.
However, it is not always so clear cut.
If we financially aid someone we know, is it a gift or is it a loan?
If it is a loan, are there any stipulations? Is there an agreement, written or otherwise outlining the loan, such as payments, any interest, and details that usually accompany a loan?
Is the friend or family member actually lending money, or just guaranteeing a loan to help someone?
Chances are if it is a loan between two people, there is no such agreement, it may be as simple as here is the money, pay me back when you can.
Then the world turns, and the lender after time may wonder if they are going to be paid back, and if it is a significant sum of money, they may need to be paid back.
Then agreement in place or not, things can change.
This is where the question, is it a gift or a loan becomes key.
There can be times when the recipient felt or believed it was a gift, when the lender may have felt it was a loan, or perhaps, it as a gift, and now the lender needs the money or generosity to be repaid.
Either way, things can get as they say….ugly.
Friendships and relationships can become broken and feelings can become hurt, and in general it is not a pretty picture.
That is why my philosophy and advice has been in the past, is now, and always well be….if you want to financially aid someone, do not expect to be repaid, it is a gift in the very definition of the word. You give them then money and should you be repaid, it is a bonus.
But it does not always turn out that way even in the best or worlds.
So as a lender of money to a friend or family member, what can you do to get your money back?
Without a formal written agreement, it can be difficult, however, verbal agreements have held up in courts around the world, but it can once again…get ugly.
The fact you are involving the courts a third party, the legal entity that is the courts, raises the bar on things.
Friendships and families have been broken and torn apart due to such proceedings.
This is why the beginning of the whole lending money needs to be thought of in two ways:
* You gift money to someone never expecting to be repaid.
* It is a loan with a written agreement outlining al the terms, and consequences.
An interesting take on this lending or giving is what about non-monetary gifts, such as engagement rings..
The Wedding That Never Occurred
Weddings are a big deal, a huge deal, and an important day in the lives of not just the bride and groom, but everyone involved.
So to call off a wedding after it has been planned, can be costly with deposits being lost, not to mention the heartbreak involved.
In with all the expenses associated with having a wedding, is the cost of the engagement ring; cost to the groom anyway.
So if a wedding is called off, there can be a loss, a huge loss, and one must wonder, what happens to the engagement ring? Does the bride-to-be, who is no longer to be, keep it, or should she give it back???
I guess part of the answer lies in who calls off the wedding?
If the bride calls the wedding off, she may return the ring; just as the ring is a symbol of their love, unbroken…..by returning it, it can symbolise the end of the relationship.
If the perspective groom ends the relationship and calls off the wedding, are they entitled to the ring being returned?
It can depend, and once again, it can get ugly.
Especially if the arrangement needs to be looked at from a legal perspective, in legal terms.
And who thinks of these things before asking someone to marry them, or agreeing to getting married? Only if a pre-nuptial agreement is in place would it enter the minds of those in love.
So once again the question to be asked and answered is, when is a gift, no longer a gift?