Premeditation. Aforethought is a statement that something had been intended, that it was the product of planning, deliberation, or at least knowledge in advance of a moment of action or of inaction. Although the temporal element of aforethought is now less significant than it once was, aforethought is the signal of premeditation in the common-law element of murder, malice aforethought. Even so, anything done with prior knowledge and intent is aforethought.
Source: The Wolters Kluwer Bouvier Law Dictionary, Compact Edition, 2011.
Caveat Lector - "Let the Reader Beware"
Tucker Griffin Barnes
Charlottesville, VA (434-973-7474)
PS - Words are the only tools lawyers have. Just as a skilled carpenter wouldn't drive a nail with a screwdriver, skilled legal writers don't use fortuitous when they mean fortunate, or infer when they mean imply.