Individuals and families in New Mexico may be able to preserve assets and minimize estate taxes by implementing various strategies. For instance, the use of a dynasty trust may make it possible for multiple generations of family members to avoid paying estate or gift taxes. As of February 2020, the federal estate tax exemption is roughly $11 million for an individual, but that amount could go down to about $6 million in 2026.
When a person dies in New Mexico, if that person is part of a blended family in which there are children from a previous relationship, there could be conflict. This was the situation for one woman whose stepmother did not file her father's will in probate court.
Many people in New Mexico put off making any type of estate plan for a variety of reasons. These might include the belief that only older people need a will or a trust. Others might be hesitant to face their own mortality. Still others might simply not understand the various tools available to them. It is important to get educated about these as the fact is that everyone can benefit from some form of estate planning.
When you are a party to the estate of a family member or friend in Roswell, you (and other beneficiaries) may likely be willing to do all that you can in order to avoid any disputes (as some may see objections to an estate’s terms as being petty). Yet there may be cases where questions regarding the terms of a will are inevitable. Your loved one may have used language that is overly-ambiguous or unclear. If they were not transparent in their estate planning by actively involving you and other designated beneficiaries (or their chosen personal representative) how are you to know what there intentions were?
Few in Roswell may initially realize how fluid a process estate planning actually is. The common school of thought is that one creates their will and that is the end of it. Yet many things may change after one initially writes a will, some of which may influence their succession plains. One of these is divorce. Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as recently as 2017, over 787,000 couples divorced in the U.S. (the actual number may indeed be higher, as five states did not furnish data for the study). As one would likely list their spouse as a beneficiary in their will, a divorce should certainly prompt them to revisit such a stipulation.
Most people in New Mexico know at least one person who has gotten divorced after having kids and then gotten married again. Blended families are part and parcel of today's society. In fact, The Tax Advisor indicates that even by 2013, one in four married couples included at least one spouse who had been married previously.
Among the many points to contemplate after a loved one passes away in Roswell is how their estate will be dispersed. The relationship that you shared with the decedent might offer indications on how they structured your estate, so if what is actually stipulated in their will varies greatly from those expectations, you may be justified in having questions. Yet what if the will contains a no contest clause? Several clients have come to us there at the Sanders Law Firm concerned about the validity of their loved ones' wills, yet equally worried that any challenges they bring will cause them to be disinherited. If you share the same concerns, what you really need to know is how far will the court go in enforcing a no contest clause.
You often hear estate planning experts in Roswell espouse the wisdom in avoiding having an estate go to probate. This is due to the fact that the cost of probate is taken directly from an estate's assets, which could lower each beneficiary's interest in it. For this reason, many come to us here at the Sanders Law Firm after the death of a loved one panicking that they will lose almost the entire value of the decedents' estates in probate costs. If you share the same concern, not to worry; there is a simple method to avoiding probate (even when a decedent took no action to do so while he or she was still alive).
You have probably been told by many in Roswell that it is never too early to start your estate planning. Considering the potential of your death is never a fun exercise, yet as we here at the Sanders Law Firm tell clients, estate planning is more for your beneficiaries then it is for you. The fear is that they will dispute the ownership of your estate, and that your death might prove to divisive amongst your family members. This inevitably prompts the question of what happens if you die without a will.