Will & Trust Attorney Albuquerque
What is a will and why is it important?
Once you are deceased, you are no longer around to dictate how to distribute your assets. A will is a legal document that spells out your final wishes in your physical absence. When you fail to prepare a will, you are leaving the decisions about your estate in the hands of New Mexico judges and state officials. This can lead to family disputes and other unpleasantries if these officials do not allocate assets in a way that is agreeable to beneficiaries.
You can prepare a will yourself, but it is not advisable. Wills in Albuquerque must meet certain requirements to help reduce the likelihood of contesting. A will and trust attorney in Albuquerque has a comprehensive understanding of estate planning laws in New Mexico that is beneficial in drafting a will that reflects your wishes and meets legal mandates.
What are the requirements for a will to be valid?
Scribbling your will onto a piece of paper and tossing it into a safety deposit box is not a guarantee anyone will abide by your wishes. Several requirements must be met in New Mexico for a will to be valid.
- Age. The testator must be 18 years of age or older.
- You can designate anyone as a beneficiary in a will, but you must name at least one for your will to be valid.
- You must be of sound mind and body when you draft your will.
- You must sign your will. If you are unable to physically sign the will yourself, you must direct another person to sign it on your behalf.
- You will need at least two witnesses to the signing of your will. The witnesses must be willing to sign the will to indicate their presence.
- New Mexico estate planning laws require last wills and testaments to be in written form.
Your wills and trust attorney in Albuquerque can ensure you have met all legal requirements for your will.
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.
What is a trust and why is it important?
If you have children, then a trust must be part of your estate planning documents. Trusts ensure minor children receive any inheritance designated to them in a last will and testament. A trust attorney in Albuquerque can help draft a trust as part of your estate plan. In the trust, you can include instructions for how assets are to be held and when the assets must pass to the beneficiaries. Unlike wills, trusts usually avoid probate, speeding up the process of getting the assets in the hands of your beneficiaries.
There are some additional benefits to trusts:
- They help protect your assets from creditors.
- They can eliminate probate time.
- They can reduce estate taxes.
What are the different types of trusts?
There are several different types of trusts you can include in your estate plan. Your will and trust attorney in Albuquerque can review each type of trust that is available and help you determine which is the best option to meet your needs. Your choices include:
- Revocable living trusts are an estate planning tool that permits the transfer of your property into a trust throughout your lifetime. It can be modified or revoked at any time by the grantor until the time of their death. Revocable living trusts appoint a trustee, who oversees the wishes within the trust. Establishing a revocable living trust helps avoid probate and preserves your privacy.
- Irrevocable trusts cannot be modified or revoked without the beneficiary’s permission. When the grantor moves assets into an irrevocable trust, it removes the grantor’s rights to control over the assets. The benefit of an irrevocable trust to the grantor is it relieves him or her of tax liability for the assets. Some of the items you can include in an irrevocable trust are businesses, investments, cash, and life insurance policies.
- Special needs trusts are ideal for families who must provide long-term care for children or other loved ones with special needs. Assets are set aside within the trust for later use to help pay for the beneficiary’s care. A trustee must be named, but this does not disqualify the beneficiary from receiving funding provided by the trust.
Why do you need an Albuquerque trust and will attorney?
Consult with an expert will and trust attorney in Albuquerque
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.