A will is a legal document that allows individuals and couples to determine how their assets and property are divided upon their death. It is also a tool through which parents of young children can name a guardian to care for their minor children and name someone to manage their children’s inheritance until their children reach an age where they are able to do so themselves.
Wills are an important tool in estate planning. But they must be carefully crafted so that your final wishes are carried out as you intend (see How to Create a Will). A poorly crafted will can nullify your wishes, complicate probate and even result in litigation. All of this may be avoided if you utilize an experienced New Mexico wills and living trusts lawyer.
Just as a poorly crafted will can negatively impact your loved ones, having no will in place can be just as bad. If you die without a will, you will have no control over how your assets are distributed or who inherits your property. While New Mexico intestacy laws dictate that your property will be given to your closest relative, starting with your spouse, if a relative cannot be found, your property will go to the state.
There are various types of wills available to individuals and couples, including:
- Joint Wills—used to carry out the final wishes of two or more people.
- Conditional Wills—used to make sure a certain condition is met before property is distributed.
- Statutory Wills—used to simplify a will’s interpretation by using state-standardized terms.
- Codicils—used to amend a will without drafting a new one. The will that is right for you depends on the complexity of your estate and final wishes (see Types of Wills for more information).