The stress and excitement of buying a home often leaves you with little time to think about much else except for dealing with the other necessities in life like working, family, paying bills etc. However, when purchasing a home your life circumstances often change which means that you should get your affairs in order at the same time. What does this involve? Here's a few very important things to think about:
Update Your Will: Many people don't even have a will. When buying a home or moving into a new home, this is an ideal time to review your estate planning. Whether you are married or single, have children or not, young, middle aged or a senior you must have a Will. Should you die intestate (without a Will) the province gets involved at that point and the whole process of settling your estate can get drawn out, expensive and emotionally very difficult on your loved ones. Get a Will!!!!
Appoint a Power of Attorney: In the event that you become temporarily unable to handle your financial affairs due to an unfortunate mental or physical condition, then your everyday responsibilities which you looked after can begin to pile up and tremendously complicate your life and your family's ability to function. Find someone you trust and give them Power of Attorney over you financial affairs. There are various types of Powers of Attorney depending on your circumstances including dealing with health matters or a Springing Power of Attorney which activates upon a particular scenario arising.
Insurance: Get mortgage insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance to protect you and your family. It's very important to give careful consideration to your options here as there are various types of insurance products depending on your need, time frame, budget and personal circumstances. For instance, when you purchase mortgage insurance this is usually part of a group policy with declining coverage but a fixed premium. Look into term insurance or some kind of whole life policy for more personally tailored coverage. Having insurance can make your family's life tolerable in your absence or a nightmare if you have none.
These are the fundamentals of estate planning that every homeowner should have in place. When you go the the bank or credit union to discuss your mortgage then that's a good time to ask to talk to one of their insurance specialists. Likewise, when you appoint a lawyer or notary to handle your home purchase or sale, that's a good time to inquire about a Will and a Power of Attorney.
Remember, you have nothing to lose unless you do nothing!