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Ask An Attorney: Promissory Notes

 I have been asked by a family member to lend them some money. Should I?

Frequently, we are approached with this question. Although we can’t answer the ultimate question, as that is an existential one, we can help protect the family unity. First, only lend if you are prepared to lose the money. Secondly, if you decided to lend, make sure there is absolute clarity about the terms. Simply: reduce the terms to written form. There are many forms for “promissory notes” on the internet. Get one- use it. And before you lend, consider this: would you be willing to act on a defaulted note?