Rents are high, but mortgage rates are low — and people are fleeing the cities for the suburbs in droves. This has created a frantic surge in new home purchases that’s made the real estate market go wild.
If you’re among the lucky few who have managed to outbid the competition and secure a new home, you may be ready to kick back and breathe a big sigh of relief — but first, you need to get your estate plans in order.
Why do you need an estate plan right now?
You’re young, healthy and you may not even have children (yet), so why bother with an estate plan just because you bought a house?
Well, estate planning is the way that you protect your biggest assets, both for yourself and your loved ones. Should anything unexpected happen to you, consider the following questions:
- Who would pay your bills and manage your property if you’re unable to make the decisions and direct the action yourself?: That could easily happen if you’re incapacitated due to a sudden illness or an accident. Assuming you recover, you could find yourself in the middle of a financial mess.
- What happens if you get sick or get into an accident and suddenly die?: Without proper estate planning, your property will end up in your estate and have to go through probate. That means your heirs, whoever they may be, won’t have access to your property for months (or longer). Plus, probate will chip away at the value of your estate through fees, which means your heirs will receive less than you intended.
A combination of a will, a trust (to hold your house and make sure it passes easily to your designated beneficiary) and powers of attorney can make sure that your future — and the futures of those you love — are completely protected against the vagaries of life.