Start the new year off right with a will or trust that protects your personal assets. The year-end holidays are the perfect time to reflect on things you want to do differently in the new year. Re-evaluating your financial holdings and other material possessions should be part of that process. Nearly 70 percent of Americans do not have wills. When it comes to estate matters, preparation is the key to ensuring you have the final say over your belongings.
Americans collect a lot of stuff in their lifetimes. One in four Americans has a clutter problem, which can pose significant challenges to loved ones after their deaths. Even when you have prized possessions with real value, leaving the sorting of those things to bereaved family members and friends can cause tension. The responsible thing to do is to create a will that clearly states how you wish to allocate your financial holdings and other personal assets.
When someone dies without a will, those decisions can be placed in the hands of a court or other legal representative appointed to oversee the matter. In New Mexico, probate law designates to which surviving family member your estate passes in the absence of a will. Other surviving family members may not agree with the decision, which can spark a formal challenge in court. Providing for the allocation of your belongings after your death can help avoid this kind of a mess.
While it is possible to draft your own will, working with an estate attorney ensures the document passes legal muster. Here are some of the most important things your attorney must recommend for inclusion.
The final step in drafting a will is to sign it. New Mexico law requires you to sign your will in front of two witnesses, who also must sign the document. Our firm recommends not having witnesses who are named as beneficiaries to establish impartiality.
A trust protects and maintains assets for your exclusive use. Those assets then pass to designated beneficiaries after your death. Trusts and wills are not the same, but they do work together to create a complete estate plan. People who have children usually include a trust in their estate plans because it can be used to ensure minor children receive any inheritance you designate for them once they become of age.
Some other benefits of trusts include:
Working with a skilled estate planning attorney can help you determine if a trust should be included as part of your estate plans.
Several types of trusts exist. The one you choose depends on how you wish to use your estate plan to control your assets. Here are some of the choices for trusts:
Trusts and wills can be complicated documents. Working with an estate attorney with in-depth knowledge of probate law in New Mexico can help ensure your final wishes are honored. Atkinson Law Firm wants to help you get started on the right foot in 2022. Reach out to us at 505-944-1050 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation consultation in the new year.
DISCLAIMER: The use of this website, internet, or form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this website, internet, or form. This is an Attorney Advertisement and use of this website or the email links do not create an attorney-client relationship. You are not considered a client until Atkinson Law Firm accepts your case and a contract is signed. This website is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing formal legal advice or solicitation.
Atkinson Law Firm, LTD © 2022 - All rights reserved
Albuquerque Website Design by BK Design Solutions