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9400 Holly Ave. NE, Bldg. 4 Albuquerque, NM 87122

Estate Planning Attorney in Albuquerque

When a person becomes incapacitated or dies, what happens to their belongings? No one likes to think about it, but it is a fact of life. We will all reach a stage where someone else will decide how to handle your property and other precious items after your death. Wouldn’t you prefer to have a hand in how it goes? Estate planning is the best way to ensure you have the final say over the fate of your possessions. Working with an estate planning attorney like Scott Atkinson to draft the appropriate documents is the most efficient way to outline your wishes.

What is an estate plan and why is it important?

Wills are the legal document most people identify with a person’s last requests. A will and an estate plan are not the same things. Wills are just one part of an estate plan.  Comprehensive estate plans include extensive details. Among the items to include any estate plan drafted by an estate planning attorney in Albuquerque NM:

  • Power of attorney is a crucial component of any estate plan. The person you have designated will handle all your legal affairs and other matters after your death or incapacitation. You will want to choose someone you know you can trust to follow your plans.
  • Advanced directives are legal documents that outline how you want medical decisions handled if you cannot make them yourself. An advanced directive is an effective way to avoid confusion about the medical interventions and healthcare choices you prefer under certain conditions.
  • Trusts are a complicated component of estate planning. They minimize taxes as part of a fiduciary arrangement allowing a third party to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts are common when money and other possessions go to minors. The trustee oversees the funds until the beneficiary is legally permitted to receive them.

If you fail to create an estate plan, you leave your loved ones unprotected if you die or are incapacitated. Having a legal blueprint that outlines your requests also is the best way to avoid family drama and arguments over your assets. Lastly, it provides beneficiaries some protection from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by reducing their tax burden.

Is estate planning just for when you die?

No. While most people associate estate planning with their final wishes after death, it is used for other purposes. For instance, if you suffer a serious injury or illness and become debilitated, having an estate plan can direct others about your care, managing your financial affairs, and how to handle your possessions. Designating the power of attorney in your estate plan is crucial. Choosing someone you trust is the cornerstone of any solid estate plan. 

Get your free case review today!

Victims of other people’s negligence do not need to be further victimized by a personal injury attorney in Albuquerque when they are seeking representation. At Atkinson Law Firm, we provide a free case review to all injured parties. If we do not think we can win your case, we will not waste your time (or money). Ask us how to get your free case review today. 

How does estate planning work?

An estate planning attorney in Albuquerque understands the nuances of estate planning law. You can leverage their experience to draft an estate plan that outlines your wishes in a clear and ironclad format. An estate attorney in Albuquerque will review your options with you, including all appropriate components of an estate plan. Here are some steps you will take during the process:

  • Conduct a comprehensive inventory of your belongings, including tangible assets like real estate, collectible items, and all financial holdings.
  • Request an outside valuation of your items to determine their worth. Include this valuation with your estate plan.
  • Establish directives that include a trust, medical care, and durable financial power of attorney.
  • Determine beneficiaries and set up any trusts for minor children or grandchildren.

Once your estate planning attorney leads you through these steps, a final document is created and presented for your review and approval. If you are young when you draft your first estate plan, you will want to schedule periodic reviews to make adjustments, as needed.

Can someone contest my estate plan in Albuquerque NM?

It is difficult to contest an estate plan in New Mexico. When there is disagreement, it is usually with a component of the plan, such as the will or a trust. Individuals who wish to contest any part of an estate plan must establish legal grounds. Reasons acceptable to the courts include:

  • Lack of capacity. The subject of the estate plan must be mentally fit at the time the plan is drafted.
  • Undue influence. If someone pressures the estate plan’s creator to change an aspect of their provision (such as a will or trust), this can be used to contest it.
  • Coercing or forcing someone to put provisions in their estate plan they do not want can lead to contesting.
  • Lack of formalities. New Mexico courts will only enforce estate plans if they are drafted legally. It is important to work with an estate planning attorney in Albuquerque to ensure your document holds up in court if contested.

Who needs an estate-planning attorney and why?

Everyone can benefit from the legal expertise of an estate planning attorney in Albuquerque NM. It is never a bad idea to have directives about your medical wishes at the very least. If you have significant financial holdings or other personal assets, dictating how you would like them dispersed will save your family and beneficiaries the stress of dealing with your estate on their own.

How our Albuquerque estate attorneys can help

Atkinson Law Firm’s Albuquerque estate attorneys are the best resource for creating an estate plan. From probates and advanced health directives to wills and trusts, we help you cover all your bases. We have the experience to guide you through the entire process, from the early planning stages to the final draft.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – Turn to our estate planning attorneys today!

Every day you wait to create your estate plan risks placing the burden of handling your assets on your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with Scott Atkinson or another member of his team. We can walk you through your options before getting started on drafting your plan.


What is a personal injury?

Personal injury is the legal term used to describe a physical, mental, or emotional injury to a person.  To meet the legal definition, the injuries must be caused by the carelessness, negligence, or wrongful conduct of another person.

What is wrongful death?

Wrong death involves civil litigation against an at-fault party when their negligence causes the death of someone else. It is usually the relatives of deceased persons who file wrongful death lawsuits to recover compensation for the wrongful death.

Is there a time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Albuquerque New Mexico?

Yes. Individuals have 3 years from the date their injury occurred to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks compensation or other damages from another individual. This statute of limitations is reduced to 2 years when filing against a government entity. When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, a victim’s family has 3 years from the date their loved one died from their injuries to take action.

What can I do if I’m involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist?

You have the option of filing a compensation claim with your insurance company if the other driver is not insured. Your insurance company can then pursue legal action against the uninsured party to recover the costs. Also, if the other driver is driving a vehicle belonging to another person, the vehicle’s owner may have insurance coverage and could be liable for the accident even though they were not driving.

How must does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque?

It depends. Some attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay them a percentage of any damages awarded in your case. Others may require an upfront retainer. It is best to discuss fee structure with your attorney at your initial consultation.

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

Any attorney who says you have a case without fully reviewing all the factors and evidence is not a reputable personal injury attorney. Your attorney should provide an initial consultation to discuss the merits of your case before determining if it is wise to proceed with filing a lawsuit.

Can you represent a client if their case is outside of New Mexico?

No. Attorneys are required to hold licenses to practice in each state they wish to represent. Our firm is licensed to represent clients in New Mexico only. If you require legal representation for another state, you can find options via the personal injury information center.

How do you prove liability in an automobile accident?

A police report is one of your best tools for proving liability in an automobile accident, which is why we recommend contacting the police any time you are involved in an accident. Sometimes the police are automatically called if there are injuries or if the accident prompts temporary closure of the roadway. During rear-end collisions and failure-to-yield during left-turn accidents, New Mexico law is clear cut on determining the at-fault party.

Do I need to file a police report?

While you are not required to file a police report, we highly recommend it. When the police are called to the scene of an accident involving injuries, they must conduct a full investigation. Their findings are considered evidence if you file a personal injury lawsuit.

What evidence do I need to prove negligence?

Any evidence presented in a personal injury lawsuit must indicate the other person was negligent, and that is what led to your injuries. To prove negligence, you must prove four points: duty, breach, causation, and damages/harm. Your attorney can review required evidence and other documentation for filing at your initial consultation.

Should I see a doctor after suffering an injury?

Absolutely. Just like a police report is considered supporting evidence in your case, a doctor’s evaluation is just as critical to proving your claim. Your physician can verify your injuries, their cause, and provide an estimation of your recovery, including treatment costs.

Are damages awarded in my personal injury case?

It is possible to collect damages as part of a settlement or jury award in a personal injury lawsuit. Ideally, you want to settle out of court to avoid the hassle associated with a trial. Damages are eligible for disfigurement and disability, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, and emotional trauma.

How long do I have to wait for my claim to be settled?

It depends on the circumstances and complexity of your case. A best-case scenario is 3 months, but some cases have taken as long as 18 months or more to resolve.

Speak to expert New Mexico personal injury attorneys

Victims have up to 3 years to file a personal injury lawsuit against individuals and 2 years to file against government entities in New Mexico. Do not waste time building your case. If you have suffered at the hands of another, reach out to our offices today to schedule your free case review and initial case consultation. We promise to work hard to secure fair compensation for your injuries. 

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