Albuquerque Wills & Trusts Lawyer
Providing New Mexicans with Peace of Mind
You are probably already familiar with the dreaded “will,” or at least how they are depicted in movies—a document left behind by an elderly and wealthy individual that the surviving family members have to fight over in a battle to the death. Yet, in practice, wills are far more practical (and minimize familial disputes!).
Let’s face it, everyone will die eventually. It's difficult for most people to think about death and how they want to provide for heirs after death. It is a matter of when—and not if—we become too incapacitated to care for our loved ones and possessions. If you want your family and belongings secure at the time of your passing, learning about wills and trusts is vital.
At The Lawyers O’Reilly PC, Brendan O’Reilly is our resident attorney. As our Albuquerque wills and trusts attorney, Brendan can help you review your situation to determine whether having such documentation in place is right for you. We get that wills and trusts aren’t the most fun to create regardless of their importance. We will provide the honest and patient guidance you need while ensuring you feel comfortable and secure throughout the entire estate planning process.
With Estate Planning Packages consisting of a Will, a General and Durable Power of Attorney, and a Medical Power of Attorney/Advanced Healthcare Directive starting at $1,500 plus tax, Brendan can work with you to ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your assets are protected.
If you want to leave part of your estate to a relative, but fear that they will spend the inheritance unwisely, our estate planning attorney can help you set up a trust to ensure that assets remain available long into the future.
As part of an Estate Planning Package consultation, Brendan will review all of your assets, insurance products, liabilities and your particular situation to advise you on how to set up ownership of your real property and financial accounts to ease or avoid probate. He will also advise you as to whether you are carrying enough liability insurance to protect your assets in the event you or a family member causes injury to another person. Hint: Many people -- and especially retirees who owe little or nothing on their homes -- carry insufficient coverage and could lose their homes if hit with a large liability claim. As an Estate Planning attorney who also practices Personal Injury law, Brendan can advise you on what your insurance coverages mean, how much insurance you should carry, and what it all means!
When it involves life endin', call Brendan at (505) 591-0808 to set up your case evaluation.
Wills in New Mexico
A will is a legal document expressing a person's wishes for what should be done with their “estate” (belongings) after their death. A will may name guardians for minor children or gift objects and money to friends, relatives, and/or charities. A will is activated only after its maker’s passing.
The main types of wills are:
- Last Will and Testament: This provides instructions for what should be done with your assets and personal affairs after your death. It will also name a person who will be responsible for handling the distribution of your property as well as someone to care for minor children, if applicable.
- Living Will / Medical Power of Attorney / Advanced Healthcare Directive: In the event you are alive but incapacitated (missing or in a coma, for instance), your living will provides instructions for what should be done with your belongings and affairs when you can no longer manage them. It also provides instructions for your medical care plan, should you be in an uncommunicative state while injured or ill.
As unpleasant as it may be to think about, it’s wise to have a plan in place for these situations, and a will and living will are part of such a plan.
Trusts in New Mexico
A trust is a legal document traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes but can also offer other benefits as part of an estate plan. It is a document that allows a third party, known as a trustee, to hold and direct assets in a trust fund on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts can be arranged in myriad ways to specify exactly how and when certain assets pass to beneficiaries.
Why bother with a trust? Benefits include:
- Avoiding probate (allowing beneficiaries to gain access to assets more quickly than using a will and saving them money on court fees)
- Controlling the distribution of your wealth
- Keeping your transfer of wealth private (since probate court goes on the public record)
- Owning fewer taxes after your death (you may not care but your relatives will thank you)
- Protecting your legacy, especially if your beneficiaries aren’t experts at money management
- Preserving government benefits such as Medicaid and Medicare
So, what’s the difference?
Both a will and a trust can transfer an estate to your heirs, but only a trust can skip probate court. Although Probate in New Mexico is less of a hassle than in most states, it is still a judicial process that takes time. Even if you have designed everything to pass via trust so that your assets avoid probate...
YOUR LOVED ONES SHOULD STILL PROBATE YOUR ESTATE!
Because during the Probate process Brendan will publish a Notice to Creditors to come forward within a certain period of time with claims against the Estate. And if a creditor doesn't come forward, they are PERMANENTLY barred from pursuing their claim against an estate.
“Okay sure but why bother if I’m not old or rich?” Well, dear reader, this next part is IMPORTANT: estate plans involving a will and/or trust are for EVERYONE!
That’s right—as long as you own assets or owe debts you should consider creating a will or a trust and your loved ones should Probate your estate. Whether you own a car, a home, a business, or an epic vintage doll collection, surely you possess something of value that you care about. Plus, wills and trusts can also establish what happens to your family members, so they are especially valuable if you have close relations, most notably a spouse, children, or other dependents.
And if you have particular wishes for any of the following, then you need a will, and where there's a will, Brendan has a way!:
- Treatment of your remains after death via burial or cremation.
- Plans for a memorial or funeral.
- Guardianship of minor children.
- Charities you want to leave assets to.
- Messages to family after your death.
Don’t leave ‘em hangin’ in the event something happens to you. Secure your assets, family, and peace of mind by scheduling a meeting with Brendan.
Brendan's Estate Planning Packages start at $1,500 plus tax and consist of:
- One (1) "Initial Consultation" of up to 60 minutes in duration.
- Completion of forms that the Law Firm has developed to collect necessary information.
- Review of forms submitted by Client.
- One (1) 60-minute "Counseling Session" to discuss Client's estate and wishes.
- One (1) draft Last Will & Testament (hereafter "Will") and one (1) revision to the same.
- One (1) draft Advanced Healthcare Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (hereafter "AHD") and one (1) revision to the same.
- One (1) draft General and Durable Power of Attorney (hereafter "POA") and one (1) revision to the same.
- One (1) 30-minute meeting to review the drafts and request any changes to the Will, AHD, and POA.
One (1) 30-minute ceremony at which Client will:
- Subscribe and sign the Will in the presence of a Notary Public who will notarize the signature of two witnesses who will attest to Client's act of signing.
- Sign the AHD.
- Sign a POA.
- One (1) set of the original, fully executed Will, AHD, and POA.
Call us today at (505) 591-0808 to set up a consultation!