September 30, 2019

Downsizing your home, not your legacy

Important considerations when it comes to selling the family home.

I want to tell you a story about a house.

To most people, it’s a normal house on a suburban street. But this is your house. Inside are the pencil marks on the doorframe that show how tall your kids were each year. You saw your children take their first steps on that hideous cream carpet. That living room is where your son sat next to some girl and said, ‘mum, dad, there’s someone I’d like you to meet’.

That living room is where your daughter stood, all dressed up for her high school formal, and you felt a lump in your throat when you realised your little girl was no longer just a little girl. The backyard is where you’ve watched your children play, maybe taught them to catch and kick a ball. And boy, did you love that grass. You watered, weeded, mowed and tended to it like it was another child.

This house is unlike no other house because it’s your home. It holds all of your memories. It represents your love, and your labour, as you carved out a little piece of the world for your family. But now you’ve long since retired and your children have moved away and you’ve decided, perhaps agonised over the decision, to sell the home and downsize. Of course, there’s the new apartment with the modern finishes – how nice are those soft-close draws! – there’s less maintenance and you can see yourself walking on the beach and having coffee at our new local cafe. What’s not to love!

We understand that this a big deal. It’s not just parting with the family home and its cherished memories, you’re probably nervous about what happens next. You might have been in the one home for so long that entering the market makes you feel like a first-home buyer all over again. The idea can seem, frankly, terrifying. We get it. Here are two important considerations when it comes to downsizing:

First, engage a solicitor for property transactions.

You are selling what is likely your biggest asset. It’s vitally important to engage a lawyer who is an expert in contracts to protect your interests, and who can explain the contract in terms that you can understand and can expedite the process. Cost isn’t the only consideration when dealing with property transactions. Why? 

  • Lawyers have broad legal knowledge and can advise on non-property issues.
  • Lawyers are better equipped to handle complex transactions

Second, have you got your estate in order? 

Planning for your future after you’re gone. For some people, this might be an uncomfortable topic, but imagine for a moment you are not here and your estate, everything you’ve worked so hard to build, is left to a State-appointed trustee to distribute? 

Estate planning ensures that your wishes are documented and your family can enjoy and benefit from your legacy.  We’ll help you through the entire process, including going over your assets, laying out your responsibilities and developing a clear estate plan. 

Here’s your estate planning checklist. Do you have…

  1. A validly drafted and executed Will, updated in the last 5 years?
  2. A Will that reflects your current financial and family circumstances?
  3. A Binding Death Benefit nomination for your super? Have you nominated a beneficiary for your life insurance policy?
  4. An Enduring Power of Attorney and an Enduring Guardian (someone who can legally make decisions on your behalf if something happens to you)?

These are incredibly important matters and we want to ease you through it. We are thorough, diligent, and above all else, we see ourselves as partners in your major life decisions. 

Contact us today.

Story By

Diana Foye