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It’s in our nature to look out for our loved ones and one of the most valuable assets you will ever ‘own’ is your education.

So it’s not surprising that we receive a number of calls from people wishing to somehow pay for the future expenses of their child or grandchild’s education, in the event of their passing.

Unlike cash, cars or material ‘things’, the gift of education is one that could make a profound difference in your grandchild’s life.

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Christmas is that wonderful time of the year when we shower our loved ones in gifts to celebrate the festive season. While it’s a joyous time for both those who are giving and receiving its important to forward think and know the ramifications associated with gifts in a Family Law and Estate Planning context, particularly substantial monetary gifts.

Let’s imagine Mr and Mrs Claus want to give one of their elves $100,000 to help he and his new elf girlfriend buy a new pad in the North Pole. It’d be important that Mr and Mrs Claus to be wary of whether they are giving the $100,000 to their elf or to both he and his girlfriend and also whether it is it in fact a gift or a loan?

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We’ve all heard the statistics about children living with their parents into their thirties, but while crippling house prices may be to blame, some parents are taking a more pro-active approach and shuffling their children out the door and into their very own first home.

Even the most kind-hearted parents however must think about how this may affect them and their children moving forward. Is the help going to be a one-time offer or ongoing, what sort of exposure will you face and does the reward outweigh the risk?

The more common approaches to helping your children buy property are:

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