It’s never too early to start planning your estate.
Estate planning deals with planning for the disposal of your estate. It attempts to eliminate uncertainties that can arise in probate. It also aims to minimize taxes and other expenses related to the disposition of your estate. A typical estate planning package includes a will, trust, advance healthcare directive (living will), and any applicable powers of attorney.
Albuquerque Business Law can assist you in determining your needs and wants and then develop an estate plan tailored to your situation.
Wills and Trusts
Everyone should have a will, regardless of that person’s assets. A will is especially important for anyone with children in order to appoint a guardian upon their death. Also, if you die without a will, typically only your family will receive anything from your estate. So, if you have items you would like to bequeath to friends or specific charities, a will is necessary. Additionally, having a properly drafted will makes things much easier for your loved ones when you pass away and will minimize court supervision and involvement.
Albuquerque Business Law’s will package also includes an advance health care directive, or living will, which governs what happens to you in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.
In some instances, a trust may be appropriate. Albuquerque Business Law will assist in determining whether a trust would be beneficial in each individual case. There are two types of trusts: living and testamentary trusts. As it sounds, a living trust is set up during the person’s lifetime while a testamentary trust is set up in a will and goes into effect only after the person’s death. Additionally, living trusts can be either “revocable” or “irrevocable.” Trusts differ from wills in that trusts generally deal only with specific assets, such as life insurance or real estate while wills deal with everything else.
A common misconception is that by having a will, you can avoid probate. Actually, an estate will be probated with or without a will. If there is a will, the court will first validate that it is authentic. Once that is accomplished, the court will proceed with distributing the estate among the heirs. When a person dies intestate, meaning without a will, the probate court will dispose of the assets according to New Mexico law. There are ways to avoid probate however, such as a revocable living trust.
If you die intestate, the Court will appoint a Personal Representative to dispose of your assets. Additionally, if you have a minor child, the Court will decide who will take care of them. Essentially, without a will, you will have no say in the disposition of your estate and the ones you love may not receive anything from your estate. This is all the more reason to have a will.
You can minimize the court’s involvement in probate proceedings with a properly drafted will. But regardless of whether or not you have a will, many instances can arise where you need an attorney to represent you in probate proceedings. Let Albuquerque Business Law assist you in all of those needs.