It is essential that your final wishes are respected, particularly when it comes to the guardianship of children or assets. However, simply having a will or trust in place is not sufficient – it is necessary to make any changes to these documents official. It is recommended to review your wills and trusts in New Mexico every 4-5 years, even if you don’t think any changes are necessary, as certain life events may require updates. These events include getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, experiencing a death in the family, moving to a new state or purchasing a new home, receiving an inheritance, wanting to protect someone’s future, changing beneficiaries, or experiencing a change in health. It is also important to ensure that your power of attorney and healthcare directive are up to date. Consulting with a skilled estate planning attorney in New Mexico can help ensure that your assets are protected and properly distributed according to your wishes.
One situation that often requires updates to wills and trusts is a change in marital status. Marriage can complicate the distribution of assets upon death, and property acquired during the marriage may have different rules. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your assets are protected and properly assigned. Divorce may also necessitate changes to wills and trusts, such as removing a former spouse as a beneficiary. It is also possible to modify a will to include or exclude other family members.
Having or adopting a child is another event that warrants updates to wills and trusts. It is important to secure their future in the event of your death by appointing a legal guardian and setting up trusts and naming executors. Any changes in your family or household, including deaths, should also prompt a review of your wills and trusts. Moving to a new state or purchasing a new home may also require updates to ensure that your documents comply with local probate laws.
Inheritances, particularly large ones, may also prompt changes to wills and trusts. You may wish to reconsider how your assets should be distributed after your death and consider adding beneficiaries or creating a trust to protect existing beneficiaries from receiving too much at once. If you want to provide for someone financially without giving them access to their inheritance in a lump sum, you can create a trust in your will.
It is also common for people to change the beneficiaries named in their wills and trusts. You may want to name or disinherit anyone you choose, but it is advisable to consult with an attorney before disinheriting beneficiaries. If your health deteriorates, it is important to update your wills and trusts and ensure that your power of attorney and healthcare directive are current. Reviewing your existing documents can also reduce stress and allow you to focus on your health.
It is important to regularly review and update your wills and trusts to ensure that they reflect your current wishes and circumstances. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate the process and ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your desires. Contact the Justice Legal Group at 505-880-8737 to talk with an attorney about your life plan.