Wills are a staple of most people’s estate plans in New Mexico. These documents are integral for dispersing your assets to family members and loved ones upon your death. While the concept behind wills is relatively simple, there’s a lot that can go wrong during the creation process.
That’s where Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC come in. These estate planning attorneys can help you craft a solid will that ensures your wishes about your assets are carried out according to plan. They can also help you make use of all your estate planning tools to reap the biggest benefit for your family after you’re gone.
While laws regarding wills vary from state to state, these documents must contain certain elements to be considered valid. Firstly, the person creating a will must have a sufficient mental capacity. That is, the person must know he or she is making will, know which assets are in his or her possession, and be aware the purpose of the will is to disperse these assets to others.
Next, the will must be signed in such a way that it’s easily identifiable. While a full, complete signature is best, courts may also accept a first name, nickname, or other special marking in its place. Witnesses must also be present during the signing. In some cases, witnesses may also sign the document.
The final element is most important for a will to be considered valid. A valid will must also be free of fraud or undue influence. Fraud is defined as the statement of a falsehood as though it’s fact, while undue influence involves pressuring a person to make certain concessions within the document.
As your life changes, so should your will. This is especially true when it comes to life events like new marriages or the birth of a new child. Once these events occur, updating your will ensures that it continues to meet your needs as you see fit. Changes in your financial outlook should also trigger a review. A will that was created to manage a modest estate may fall short if you suddenly experience an influx of money.
Even if you don’t experience any upheavals in your life, you should review your will every few years or so. You may change your mind about a certain heir, or the health of your previously chosen executor might have diminished since the will was created. These circumstances should trigger a change to the document to prevent serious issues after your death.
Whether you’re creating your first will or need help updating an existing document, Roybal-Mack & Cordova, PC can assist you in taking the necessary steps to protect your estate and your family. We have extensive experience with these estate planning documents, and we can also assist you establishing trusts.
Schedule a consultation with an attorney by calling 505.832.3411 today. You can also contact us online for more information.