Congratulations on the purchase of your new home. Whether this is your first home or an upgrade/downsize, purchasing a home is a big event in your life. When these major life changes occur, you should be properly prepared. Below are a few things for you to consider now that you finally have the keys to your new home!
Update Your Address
Now that you are in your new home, it is very important that you update your address with the proper entities. Your local United States Postal Office will have a form you can fill out. If you cannot make it into the post office, you can also update this information on their website. This will help them in forwarding your mail to you.
To make sure that you don’t miss any important tax notices or refunds, you will also want to update this information with the Internal Revenue Service, using Form 8822, and your local state tax agency.
Make Sure Your House Title Coordinates with Your Estate Plan
While it is still fresh in your mind, reference your new deed to see how the property is titled. Then, you will want to reference your estate planning documents to make sure that your property has been titled properly to achieve your estate planning goals.
For example, if your previous plan had a specific provision distributing your old property, you will want to make sure that you update this provision since you no longer own the previous property. But if this is your first home and your estate plan includes a trust to avoid probate, you will need to make sure that your home was titled in the name of the trust and not in your name individually.
Check Your Life Insurance Coverage and Beneficiary Designations
Unless you were fortunate enough to pay cash for your new home, you probably now have a large monthly mortgage expense. To protect your loved ones, you should check your life insurance coverage. Should you die before paying off the mortgage, it is a good idea that you have enough life insurance to meet that obligation if you have a surviving spouse or children that will likely continue to reside in the home. Even if they choose to not remain in the home, the life insurance can provide valuable assets during what is usually an emotionally difficult time.
This is also a great opportunity to double-check your beneficiary designations. Life changes happen so quickly that sometimes this can be overlooked. If your designations do not match up with the rest of your estate plan, you may inadvertently disinherit a family member or having the money fall directly into the hands of an individual with no guidance.
Last, now that you have a home and homeowner’s insurance, call your insurance agent to make sure that you are getting the discounts you are entitled to. Many insurance companies will offer discounts when you bundle services. If you already have car insurance through a carrier and use the same company for your homeowner’s insurance, you may be entitled to a better rate that if you had both policies separately. In addition, homeowners often get discounts that renters don’t.
We’re Here to Help
Buying a new home is a big step and we are here to help. Call us and we can help make sure that your new purchase and estate planning are working together to carry out your goals.
NOTICE: The information on this website does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on any information without seeking the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. This web site is both a communication and/or solicitation as defined by California Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 1-400. For further information, please click here.