Pandemic Buying and Estate Plans

Written by Robert T. Nickerson

One of the big changes that happened during the pandemic last year was a surprise surge in new homeowners. Young adults have been the highest percentage of new buyers as being stuck at home has forced them to consider what they can get; a larger backyard, easier conditions to work from home and more space. Okay, perhaps it wasn’t that surprising, though given how the economy went sour and mortgage rates going at a very low level, it makes sense that a lot of home buyers, especially new ones, would want to take advantage of a unique situation. Even as Covid-19 starts to recede and go back to something resembling normal, homes are still being heavily sought out.
 
So, what does this mean for your estate plan?
 
Most young people I come across see estate plans as something only older and wealthier people need to address. The first truth is that estate plan is not about protecting your money (that’s what banks are for). The goal of an estate plan is to protect assets of value and assure that there is a legal path for someone to inherit it. Perhaps your grandad’s estate plan might have only been for the wealthy. But estate planning can be for anyone. It just so happens that I recommend doing it when your start amassing a large asset like a home.
 
Should something happen to you, then an estate plan sets up an easy system to that a love one you trust will have the ownership of that home. Without an estate plan, then the home would enter into probate, which is a long and complicated process in which the court would have to figure out who gets what. Though each state is different, it can take years to finally get the home. 
 
Now what do I do if I already have a trust?
 
First of all, congratulations!! you’ve make the smart choice of understanding what’s most important; your family. A new home is very common. In fact, because life keeps changing us and our assets, I always recommend going over your estate plan every couple of years to see if it needs updating. I’ve seen a lot of people who’ve gone through something (like an accident that puts someone in a coma) and the health care directive (a legal document that dictates who makes decisions on your behalf) is one from twenty years ago.
 
Since you might be buying your first home, then your address will need to be updated. If you had a prior home that was sold, then you no longer can use it as an asset as it no longer belongs to you. Without a proper update, then the gift will be unvalidated. 
 
Home ownership opens a new chapter into your personal life, and we want to be sure that your protected. The Law Offices of Jeffery C. Nickerson can help protect your new asset by making sure it’ll be ready to transfer to a loved one when the time comes. Click on the button below to contact us for more information. If you’re a millennial, it’s never too soon to consider.

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