Congratulations! You just bought a new home! Homeownership is a major life event and one of the biggest financial decisions most of us will ever make, and at this stage, the toughest obstacles on this journey are now behind you. You’re ready to start putting down roots and making your new house into a home. But before you settle in, keep these three important tasks on your to-do list.
Inform the Post Office and the IRS
Update your address by completing a form that you can find at your local post office (or the USPS website). This will help the post office forward your mail, and it will ensure that you receive official information regarding things like jury duty and elections. You’ll also want to update your address with the Internal Revenue Service using Form 8822, so you don’t miss tax notices or refunds. This also applies to your state and local tax agencies.
Coordinate Your House Title and Your Estate Plan
Check the property title on your new deed. Then check your estate planning documents to make sure the title matches. If your estate plan contains provisions related to your old property, these provisions will need to be adjusted to reflect your new circumstances. Any trust you’ve established to avoid probate will need to be updated; your home will need to be titled in the name of the trust, not just your own name. Don’t let a small discrepancy like this stand in the way of your estate planning goals.
Update Your Life Insurance Coverage and Beneficiary Information
Chances are, your new home also comes with a new mortgage, and your life insurance coverage (if you have it) will help your loved ones manage the payments on this mortgage if anything happens to you. Your surviving spouse or children will be able to pay the mortgage and remain in the home if they choose to. If they decide to leave, your life insurance benefits can also help them make that move.
While you’re reviewing your life insurance policy, review your beneficiary designations. Make sure they match up with the rest of your estate plan, or you may accidentally disinherit a family member or channel the benefits to an outdated designee.
Check your discounts
As a final step, call your insurance agent to make sure that you are getting all of the discounts that you are entitled to. Many insurance companies offer bundled service discounts or discounts based on other aspects of your profile, but you might not receive these discounts unless you specifically request them. If you already have car insurance through the company that provides your homeowner’s insurance, you may be entitled to a reduced rate. (You may also be entitled to lower car insurance premiums than you would receive as a renter.)
Contact Our Team for Support
Buying a new home can be a daunting process, but we’re here to help! Contact us and we’ll make sure your home purchase supports your estate planning goals.