Estate Planning Issues for Young Adults in New MexicoOne of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that only those who are approaching their senior years need to focus on creating an estate plan. This inaccurate assumption is understandable because some of the benefits of estate planning are more relevant for those who are past retirement age, such as incapacity planning, business succession planning, and transferring one’s legacy to beneficiaries. However, there are benefits to estate planning that may be relevant to people regardless of age. It is also impossible to anticipate when an unexpected illness or accident could result in incapacity. Our New Mexico Estate Planning Lawyers meticulously customize estate plans to fit our clients’ individual circumstances and objectives. In this blog post, we have provided a couple of examples where estate planning is important for those who may believe they are too young to worry about such issues.

Parents with Young Children:

If you are a parent with young children, it is essential to have at least a basic estate plan. If something happens to you and your children’s other parent, you will want to be the one who determines the guardian for your children. Without a will that indicates who you want appointed as a guardian, a judge who does not know you or your children will make this decision. While your children will inherit your estate in this situation under New Mexico intestacy law, you also will want a trust or other estate planning tool to ensure that the money is managed for your kids so that it does not run out. Even if only one parent passes away, there are still important reasons to have a will or trust in place. When you die without either estate planning tool, New Mexico intestacy law will determine who receives your assets. Generally, a portion of your assets will pass directly to your kids under these circumstances. However, you may want to ensure that the surviving parent is in a position to act as a trustee and manage the funds for your children. While this can be done by seeking court intervention, you can use a trust with the surviving parent as the trustee so that the other parent is not burdened with the expense and inconvenience of court intervention.

Unmarried Couples Living Together:

If you are unmarried and suffer incapacitating or fatal injury in an accident, your significant other has no legal rights of inheritance or decision-making about your medical care without certain estate planning tools. A growing number of couples are living together in long-term committed relationships though they have made a conscious decision not to get married. If you are involved in such a relationship, you will want to have a will or trust to protect your significant other’s right to a portion of your assets if you are involved in a fatal accident. If your live-in boyfriend/girlfriend is the one who you would want to make decisions about your medical care and/or financial affairs in the event of your incapacity, you also may want to consider a durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney and/or an advance health care directive. These documents empower the person you appoint to make health care decisions as your agent or according to the guidelines you indicate as well as to manage your financial affairs during a period of incapacity.

The ABCs of a Living Trust in New Mexico

The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.

If you have questions or concerns about estate planning, our New Mexico Estate Planning Law Firm may be able to help. The New Mexico Estate Planning Attorneys at Jay Goodman & Associates Group, PC offer a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your specific situation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 989-8117 to learn about your rights and options.


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