I bet almost everyone dislikes thinking about their passing or the passing of their loved ones. But as Mr. Benjamin Franklin wrote, “…in the world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While that’s certainly true, a lot of people still put off planning for their departure from this world. Often, they put it off too long and then it’s too late. Passing away without an Estate Plan could leave your already distraught family with even more problems to deal with.
But what is an Estate Plan? As one of the attorneys at Jay Goodman and Associates, Cynthia Sikelianos explains, “A good estate plan for individuals with a modest estate (home, checking/saving account, retirement account and/or investment/brokerage accounts) includes a Will and/or a Revocable Living Trust, Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive. These documents work together to ensure not only a stress-free distribution of assets to your intended beneficiaries but also to protect you from the potential stresses and expenses that can occur during incapacity. Having a valid Power of Attorney document in place could eliminate the need for a costly and burdensome Guardianship and Conservatorship proceeding.
Proper Estate Planning can also avoid a Probate of your estate. While the probate process in New Mexico is not that difficult, it is still a process that delays administration and adds an unnecessary cost to the estate. There are several ways to avoid a probate depending on the types of assets owned and the asset distribution plan. In the area of estate planning/probate, it is often said that you either see an attorney to plan for ultimate distribution of your assets (estate planning) or your heirs will have to see an attorney to distribute your assets with the assistance of the court (probate). The former is not only a less expensive route to take, but it also simplifies the administration of your estate for your heirs.
Finally, proper Estate Planning allows you to direct that your hard-earned assets are used in a particular way, if you desire, and can also offer a layer of asset protection for your beneficiaries from judgments, divorcing spouses, creditors, etc.”
To learn more about attorney, Cynthia Sikelianos, please click here.
For anyone who has taken the time and effort to get your affairs in order, we applaud you. If you haven’t taken that step yet, let us help! A lovely client of ours once stated, “Peace of mind is a wonderful state!” Contact us today by clicking here or calling us at 505-989-8117.