Many people associate estate planning and wills with the rich and elderly, but the truth is that any person of any age and status can benefit from estate planning. A will is a simple estate planning document but serves a significant purpose: It gives you peace of mind that when you pass away, your property and assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. If you do not yet have a will, it may be time to work with an Albuquerque estate planning attorney to draft one.
As many as two-thirds of Americans do not have a will, but does that mean you should go without one as well? Most likely, no. The best way to determine if you need a will is to ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need a will. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will helps to ensure your assets go to the loved ones or beneficiaries you designate. Without a will in place, your property will be subject to the laws of intestate, meaning the state governs who will get your property and money.
More importantly than dictating the distribution of your assets, a will can identify an executor and guardian of your minor children should you pass away before they turn 18. An executor is responsible for distributing the assets you leave to your children in accordance with your wishes. A guardian is responsible for raising your children in the event that you and your parent’s other father pass away.
State law does not require that an attorney write your will, and if you want to create a basic will, you do not need a lawyer’s help. A basic will may suffice if you are under 50 years old, are in good health and do not expect to leave property valuable enough to be subject to estate taxes. However, as you acquire more valuable property, such as a home, vehicles, antiques, etc., your estate planning needs will grow more comprehensive.
Though state law does not require you to work with an attorney, it may be worth your while to seek help from a knowledgeable estate planning team. A lawyer can help you navigate state law, sort out complex family and financial issues and help you meet all the requirements for creating a will. Moreover, an attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes, or worse, mistakes that render all or a portion of your will invalid.
If you have significant property or wealth or young children, or if you just want to ensure your wishes are upheld after your death, contact Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC for the guidance you need to create a valid will.