Estate Planning is a labor of love for your family. Proper estate planning is more than just passing your assets to your loved ones, it is leaving a legacy for generations to come. In short, estate planning is a labor of love. You do it to make things easier on your survivors and decrease the stress on them. You have many options when deciding to create an estate plan from private attorneys to online document services. When it comes to protecting your wealth, family and children, it is important to get it right the first time. The cost to fix errors after the fact can be substantial if the errors can be fixed at all. The cost of probating assets is often far more than the cost of appropriate planning.
We recommend that every person have an estate plan of their own choosing. It is especially important when you have minor children, disabled beneficiaries or heirs that are unsavory with finances. Every person has an estate plan, it was created by the government and if you die without a plan of your own the government plan becomes your plan. In most cases the government’s plan is insufficient to meet the family’s needs and more importantly, it often does not pass assets to the person that you would have wanted. For example, if you have minor children and you are not in a relationship with the other parent, and you die without an estate plan, your ex will direct your assets for the benefit of the children. Your ex, as the other parent has priority to manage your estate over those you would have chosen. Many people would not choose this as their plan. Families are complicated and the government’s plan has not been updated to reflect modern families of today.
New Mexico has a heritage rich in culture and language. As native New Mexicans we are well suited to understand the importance of passing on that legacy. The culture in New Mexico has been passed down from generation to generation and we believe that estate planning should continue that tradition. In our estate planning, we try to capture the legacy that only you can leave. For example, it is easy to pass down a parcel of land; however, how will the recipient know when and how to irrigate the land. You can pass down your kitchen tools, but is your timeless tamale recipe written down. In our planning, the intangible is just as important as the tangible. We make it our goal to capture both into a comprehensive estate plan. We also understand that simplicity is king. We try to make plans simple, affordable and effective.
Probate and estate law deal with the entire value and contents in a persons ownership. This includes land, vehicles, heirlooms, possessions, money, stocks, and intellectual property among other types of property and value.
The probate process can be difficult to understand and families often have questions that need to be answered by a probate attorney. Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC has created this website the answer as many questions as possible about the probate process. You can look at our resources page for the websites to cancel a loved one’s Social Security Benefits and get death certificates.
In addition, you will find the most frequently asked questions about probate law in New Mexico.
Special Needs Trust
Simply put, a special needs trust protects your beneficiary’s inheritance while protecting their government benefits.
When a child is born with special needs, the family needs to consider immediate special needs estate planning. If the special needs individual is an adult it is even more important to engage in special needs trust planning. Families often have an unwritten plan of what will happen to the special needs individual after the death of a parent; however, if the plan is not in writing, it cannot be enforced. Further, without a Special Needs Trust, the disabled family member risks losing public benefits if they inherit even minimal funds.
We understand, first hand, that financial support is just one element of providing for a child with special needs. The planning needs to include who will step in as the child’s legal guardian and who is responsible for the immediate care of the child. We also engage in a Memorandum of Understanding process wherein you can leave loved ones knowing the simple things about how to care for your child. For example, they will only eat scrambled eggs for breakfast. Further, you can outline medical conditions, medical providers and family that must be contacted.
We have seen a number of common estate planning mistakes made by families all of whom had the best intentions. If you work with an adviser and attorney who have experience assisting families with special needs children, and you avoid these mistakes, you will be positioning your special needs child for a successful future.
Wills, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Directives
Wills, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Directives
It is important to plan ahead for future health problems and eventually death. Preparing yourself for these events will prevent a great deal of confusion and dispute when the time comes to make difficult decisions and take action. Wills, power of attorney, and healthcare directives are necessary to ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly.
Wills, also known as testaments, are legal documents that name the people who will manage an estate and receive assets after death. This legal declaration clearly defines the future of all property in a person’s ownership after death.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes a person to act on another’s behalf involving business, legal matters, healthcare, and other private matters. The person granting the authorization is known as the grantor, donor, or principle. The person who receives power of attorney is referred to as either the agent or the attorney. In the event that a person cannot act on his or her own to make a decision or cannot be present, the agent/attorney must make decisions on their behalf in their best interests.
A healthcare directive, also known as a living will, is a legal document declaring a person’s wishes for what actions to take in his or her healthcare if that person should become incapable of taking care of his or herself. This is a common occurrence for people who are in the later years of life and may become someday incapacitated by physical illness, mental illness, or any other disabling factor.
Estate guidelines are the instructions to be followed within a person’s will or testament and also the set of procedures to be followed by the pointed executor of a will. The executor is the person in charge of making sure that the wishes expressed in a will are followed.
Roybal-Mack & Cordova, P.C.’s attorneys will help you to create a will, grant power of attorney to another, and compose your healthcare directives to make sure that in your time of illness, you are taken care of exactly the way you want to be.