• Ruth-Ann E. Toups

Four Important Steps to Take Before Downsizing

This year, I am proud to partner with other knowledgeable business owners to bring community members our “Downsizing Workshop.” These workshops feature several professionals who give excellent advice on the downsizing process, including a Senior Real Estate Specialist, a home organizing and senior relocation company, and a financial professional knowledgeable in the area of long-term care insurance. If you haven’t attended one of these workshops yet I highly encourage you to. Even if downsizing is years away, the information is powerful and useful to everyone. To learn about the next event, please email info@toupslaw.com. Until you get a chance to attend a workshop, I thought I would recap four of the most important steps to take before downsizing.


1. Have a realtor visit your home. A realtor can help you evaluate the market value of your home, and help you decide if you should sell your house as is or consider improvements. Additionally, a realtor can educate you on the current real estate market and help you evaluate the best time to sell. Finally, consider a realtor who works primarily with seniors, such as a Senior Real Estate Specialist. These realtors have gone through additional training to best assist seniors who are looking to downsize. They can provide specific information for seniors looking to downsize.


2. Evaluate your long-term care insurance. If you have a long-term care insurance policy now is the time to understand the benefits that you have, what they will cover, when you could claim them, and how you would go about making the claim. If you don’t have long-term care insurance now is a great time to evaluate if a policy would be available to you and if it would make sense for your situation.


3. Think about your stuff. As a collector of things myself, I know how hard it is to consider parting with some of your beloved items. The reality is downsizing requires getting rid of some of your belongings, if not most of them. If you are struggling with where to begin, feeling overwhelmed, or simply don’t have the time, call a professional. What could take you years to work through will take a professional a few days. Additionally, a professional can help you assess the resell value of items you own, and advise you on what you will really need, and what you can really fit in your new home.


4. Make sure your estate plan is in order. Have a will? Now is a great time to consider if that will needs an update. If you will still provides for guardians for your minor children and those children now have children, it might be time to update your will. The estate tax laws have changed significantly over the past 15 years, and many of us no longer need complex wills. It may be time to simplify. Don’t have a will? Well, it’s time to get one. Check out our blog here on why having a will is critical. Don’t have a power of attorney in place? It’s time to get two. Check out our blog here on why having powers of attorney are critical.


We hope to see you at a Downsizing Workshop soon!

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