Estate Planning in New Mexico
An estate plan is not only a way to prepare for death by establishing who you want to inherit your property, but a way to protect certain assets and property while you are still living. Failure to plan properly for your death can result in complications and difficulties for your family, such as probate hearings that are often costly and time-consuming, tax issues and even litigation. All of these things can be avoided with a proper estate plan prepared by a qualified New Mexico estate planning attorney.
Depending on the complexity of your situation, assets and whether or not you own a business, there are a number of tools to consider in your estate plan, including:
- Will—A legally-binding document that sets forth who you want to inherit your assets and how children should be cared for upon your death.
- Trusts—Mechanisms for creating a separate legal entity to shelter your property/assets from taxes, public scrutiny and probate while at the same time determining how those assets should be distributed, and to whom, upon your death (see New Mexico Trusts for more information).
- Advance Directives— Ways to legally establish how you will be cared for upon incapacitation, including what type of medical care you would like to receive or not receive, who can make medical decisions for you, and who can manage your finances. Advance directives include things like living wills and powers of attorney.
- Business Succession—A way to minimize taxes, work out management issues, and establish who inherits ownership of your business upon your death.
While not everyone needs a complex estate plan making use of all the above-mentioned tools, most people should create a will at the very least. To die without a will is to die intestate. That means you will have no control over how your assets are divided and distributed, and state intestacy laws will determine who will inherit your property.
If you have questions about estate planning and how to get your affairs in order for the well-being of your loved ones, it is important to contact one of our New Mexico estate planning attorneys. Our qualified estate planning lawyers can not only advise you on the best ways to protect your assets while you are alive, but how best to plan for the well-being of your loved ones and the distribution of your assets/property upon your death.
Contact our New Mexico estate planning attorneys in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Roswell or Santa Fe to learn how you can have peace-of-mind about the future!