The demands of family and work responsibilities continues to consume a growing portion of American’s time which often leads people to procrastinate about tasks that can have a significant impact on their future security. NM Estate planning involves critical issues regarding financial security, incapacity planning, and succession planning, but it also is an issue that is sometimes postponed with the thought that it involves future rather than current concerns. However, the types of life events that make NM estate planning arrangements relevant can happen suddenly like car accidents, unanticipated serious medical conditions, and related events. Because of the importance of such issues, our POA Attorneys in Santa Fe at our power of attorney law firm have suggested a number of steps that may be taken to get one’s affairs in order.
Verify Beneficiaries Named in Pay-On Death Accounts:
Retirement plans like 401K accounts and life insurance policies include a provision for naming the beneficiary. Because many people pay into retirement accounts or purchase life insurance many years before the funds are actually disbursed, life changes may occur in the interim that include the death of a spouse, birth of a child, adoption, divorce, remarriage, and more. These life events may make it appropriate to update the beneficiary designation.
Prepare for Business Transitions:
If you pass away as a sole proprietor, the continuation of your business or ability of your loved ones to be compensated for your share of the business can be facilitated by ensuring a buy-sale agreement is in place.
Make Provisions for the Property of Children:
If you plan to leave a portion of your assets to your children who are minors, it is advisable to appoint a guardian or trustee to oversee management of the funds so that the financial resources are available when needed for college, purchasing a home, and other significant expenses.
Keep Documents in a Safe Place:
There are many types of documents to which your trustee or personal representative will need access, so it is advisable to keep them in a place that is accessible for the person entrusted with handling your affairs. These documents will include information about all assets like bank accounts, retirement plans, stocks, funeral prepayment plans, annuities, insurance policies, information on financial obligations, safe deposit boxes, and other financial information regarding assets and liabilities.
Prepare a Durable Power of Attorney:
If you become incapacitated, a financial power of attorney (POA) ensures that someone you trust is appointed to manage your financial affairs with the range of power and authority that you determine is appropriate.
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 about NM estate planning issues in New Mexico, our Santa Fe Estate Planning Attorneys at Jay Goodman & Associates, 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.