If I Buy a House, Should I have an Estate Plan?

estate planning for your home
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Buying a home is one of the most common triggers for creating an estate plan.

Have you done proper estate planning for your home?

Whether you have had a home for decades or just purchased a home, you must do proper estate planning for your home.

If you have not noticed, there has been an unprecedented surge in home sales during the recently ended pandemic.

According to a recent National Association of Realtors report, existing home sales have increased year over year reaching a pandemic high of over 25% in October of 2020.

A recent Forbes’s article asks: “Pandemic Home Buyers: Have You Set Up Your Estate Plan?”

How a house is owned in important when estate planning for your home.
Estate planning for your home should be a priority.

The article explores how this past year’s surge in home sales has impacted estate planning.

At the most basic level, estate planning is a way to protect your assets and your loved ones, no matter your age or income level.

If you create a revocable living trust and title your home in the name of your trust, then your home will avoid probate at your death.

Some states, like Kansas and Missouri, have laws that allow “transfer on death deeds” to avoid probate on real estate.

Consequently, upon your death, the ownership of your home can be efficiently transferred to your loved ones with no court involvement required by either of these two approaches.

On the other hand, if your home is is not included in your trust or does not pass by a transfer on death deed, then probate may be required to transfer it.

Your loved ones may have experience unnecessary costs and delays.

If you already have an estate plan, you should review your estate planning documents every two years based on my experience.

In fact, purchasing a home (along with life events like retirement, divorce, death of a spouse, etc.) is a common life event that should trigger a review of your estate plan.

When performing this review, take a look at the terms of your trust or make sure you have a transfer on death deed, if permitted by your state law.

Regardless, be sure to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney sooner rather than later.

Reference: Forbes (June 2, 2021) “Pandemic Home Buyers: Have You Set Up Your Estate Plan?”

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