Why Now is the Best Time to Plan Your Estate
The new year is here and it is time to plan your estate in New Mexico.
The new year often comes coupled with new ambitions in life. Some may focus on improving their fitness or health. For others, the new calendar year means many logistical hoops to jump through- health insurance, car insurance, and other important steps to ensure your family is set up for success and health for the year ahead. One thing you may not think of is your estate plan. Read on to discover why now is the best time to plan your estate in New Mexico.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a process that helps you plan for the management and distribution of your assets if you become disabled and after you die. It is an important step to take for anyone who wants to ensure that they and their loved ones are taken care of and that their wishes are carried out. If you do not plan your estate before you pass, your assets may be stuck in limbo instead of providing for your loved ones.
These are three key questions to consider at the start of your estate planning journey:
- What are my assets? This includes everything you own, such as your home, car, investments, bank accounts etc.
- Who will be my beneficiaries? The beneficiaries will inherit your various assets.
- Who will be my executor? This individual will be responsible to manage your asset distribution as indicated in your trust and estate planning records.
It is generally a good practice to have a will in place, especially if you have significant assets or if you have children. A will allows you to legally specify how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. If you have minor children, this is how you can nominate a guardian for your children so the court will be aware of your wishes when deciding who will raise the children in your absence. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to your state’s laws of intestacy, which may not align with your wishes.
A will is one part of your estate planning process. Using an estate planning attorney can ensure you have all the proper documentation set forth to provide a smooth probate process for the ones you leave behind.
Am I Too Young to Plan My Estate?
Anyone who owns property should have an estate plan regardless of age. Estate planning used to be primarily for the well-off, but in 2023 that is not necessarily the case. Estate planning can seem overwhelming, but it is an important step to take to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are carried out. By taking the time to plan and prepare, you can have peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order. Regardless of your net worth, it is important to intentionally pass along any assets you acquired in your lifetime.
Should you pass away suddenly, the last thing you want your loved ones worried about is a legal battle concerning your assets and any applicable guardianship. No matter your age or profession, it is important to make sure your documents are all up-to-date and valid. Your estate planning attorney in New Mexico can assist in starting this process and maintaining a plan to shift your estate as assets and beneficiaries may need to be updated.
How Can an Estate Planning Attorney Assist in New Mexico?
Working with an estate planning attorney provides peace of mind in that you know your documentation will all be complete and legally sound. Less official ways of planning your estate leave room for error and misinterpretation–problems you won’t want to arise after you pass. Estate planning attorneys also have insight on how to best plan your assets for financial benefits. Trusts are one tool an estate planning attorney may suggest depending on your situation. You may be advised to utilize trusts for allocating certain assets for allowed purposes. If you hope to provide funding for your loved one’s education or advanced medical needs, a trust may be your best option.
When considering trust and estate planning in New Mexico, an experienced attorney can help guide you through the process from start to finish. Properly investing in having a valid estate plan can reduce–or in some cases eliminate–the costs and delays which would otherwise arise after your death. Also, ensuring your estate is set up properly for distribution can dramatically reduce familial tensions once you are no longer here to advocate for yourself. The last thing you should want is to cause chaos among family groups and risk lengthy, expensive court battles.
Working with an experienced trust and estate planning attorney with the New Mexico Legal Group can give you confidence in determining how you would like your assets and guardianship handled posthumously. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all matters of estate planning and probate and can help guide you through the process in an efficient, proficient, and painless manner. If you have any questions about estate planning or would like to begin the process, contact us today.