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Estate planning after purchasing your first home

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Probate & Estate Planning |

Purchasing your first home is a significant milestone, marking not just a financial investment but the creation of a personal sanctuary for you and your loved ones. It is also the kind of life event that should inspire you to consider the future, in more ways than one.  How the home is titled is important for a wide variety of reasons, and should be thought about before the deed is written.  But once it’s yours, you need to work on how to protect it!

For example, acquiring real estate necessitates revisiting – or initiating – your estate plan. Without a proper plan in place, the distribution of your assets according to your wishes, including your new home, can become a complicated and stressful process for your loved ones.

Securing your investment

Your new home is likely one of your most substantial assets. Estate planning allows you to designate who will inherit the property upon your passing. Without an estate plan, your home may be subject to the state’s intestacy laws, which might not align with your personal wishes or family dynamics. Estate planning provides you with the control to better ensure that your property is transferred smoothly and efficiently to the beneficiaries of your choosing.

Avoiding probate

By incorporating your home into a well-crafted estate plan — potentially through a living trust — you can help your loved ones avoid the probate process in order to better preserve the value of your estate and simplifies the transfer of ownership.  In Pennsylvania, however, there are only very specific circumstances where it might make sense to utilize a living trust rather than going through probate.  Get an attorney’s advice about this.

Addressing mortgage responsibilities

Finally, if you have a mortgage on your property, it’s important to outline how this debt will be managed after your death. Estate planning allows you to set aside funds or life insurance proceeds to cover the mortgage, preventing a financial burden on your loved ones and protecting the home from foreclosure.

Purchasing your first home is an exciting event, but it also inspires great responsibility. By engaging in estate planning, you can better ensure that you’ve treated this investment with the forward-looking thought that it deserves. By seeking legal guidance, you can better ensure that your interests are properly considered and that your investments are protected.  Contact our office today to get started.