Merlino & Gonzalez - June 2020

SHOULD YOU LEND MONEY TO FAMILY? Not Unless You’re Prepared to Sue Them

We all want to go above and beyond for those we love, but if a family member asks you if they can borrow money, the process may be more damaging than the generosity is worth. Unless you’re prepared to sue that family member, you might be better off telling them no. Lending money to family is a quick way to damage your relationship. If they can’t or won’t repay you, resentment festers. If other family members get caught in the middle of the tension, then it can cause even bigger problems. As if emotions aren’t enough, consider another troublesome fact: The reason your family member is asking you for a loan is likely because they couldn’t obtain one from a traditional source, like a bank or credit card company. If these capable organizations won’t consider them, why should you?

If you’re still determined to give your family a hand, then make sure you lend them money properly and put everything in writing. Draft a loan agreement to be signed by both parties. A reasonable borrower should have no issue signing, but if they’re reluctant to do so, then do not lend them money. Anyone who’s insulted over a request to put the transaction in writing may not intend to pay you back at all. Make sure the agreement states the following: • The exact amount of money to be lent and paid back • The exact dates of lending and return • The interest rate charged for the loan (yes, you must charge interest; otherwise you’re liable for gift taxes) • The payment schedule that must be followed • Penalties for not meeting the above terms Lending money to a family member can be risky, both emotionally and financially. But if you’re willing to do it, then be sure to handle it professionally as you would with a complete stranger. If your family member isn’t willing to accept your terms, then you shouldn’t be willing to bend over backward and risk your financial well-being. That would leave you no better off than the family member who came to you for help in the first place.


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• 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 clove garlic • 1/2 tsp salt • DIRECTIONS INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)

• 8 Roma tomatoes •

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1. For marinade: In blender, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and basil. Cut 2 tomatoes into quarters and add to mixture. Cover and process until blended. Halve remaining tomatoes for grilling. 2. In bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade. 3. Heat grill to about 350–400 F. Lightly oil grates. Grill chicken until internal temperature reads 165 F, about 4–6 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until lightly browned, about 2–4 minutes per side. Discard remaining marinade. 4. Serve chicken and tomatoes with reserved marinade.

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