Las Cruces

Succession is a complex process. While death opens succession, it’s not the only consideration for one’s inheritance. Federal and state laws will govern property partition among heirs. 

These may be challenging for a layperson to deal with. While there are no prohibitions on representing yourself in probate and estate-related cases, hiring an estate planning attorney in Las Cruces, NM, is still best. 

Las Cruces, New Mexico, has complex probate and intestacy laws. When people die, their survivors must deal with various estate and federal tax situations. These include state income tax, individual federal tax, trust income tax, and federal estate tax returns.

estate planning attorney las cruces nm

What happens when a person dies after leaving a will?

The testator must sign the will before two witnesses for it to be considered legitimate. These witnesses must also sign the same will before each other. You won’t have to go to a lawyer to have the will notarized for it to be binding and legal. However, if you want to hasten the probate process, you can make a “self-proving” will. 

The court will automatically accept the “self-proving” will without the witnesses or you can hire a Las Cruces estate planning attorney. All you must do is visit a notary with your witnesses and draw an affidavit detailing your name and the fact that each of you signed the will voluntarily and with full consent. 

If the will is declared valid, it needs to go through probate. Las Cruces adheres to the Uniform Probate Code, so they follow the probate laws of New Mexico. In this case, probate is only mandatory if the decedent’s assets are in their name alone. 

If the decedent left a smaller estate, hire an estate planning attorney in Las Cruces to help you take advantage of the probate shortcuts. A shortcut allows you to skip probate if the estate’s total value, after encumbrances and lines are deducted, is only $50,000 or below. 

You only need to sign an affidavit under oath to complete the process. This affidavit must state that you’re entitled to the assets. 

What happens if an individual dies without leaving a will?

A person who dies without a will could lose control of their assets after death. According to the inheritance laws of New Mexico, the decedent’s estate will now become “intestate,” which means no valid will was executed. Consult with a law office in Las Cruces to verify this.

In this case, the court will rule according to the state’s intestate succession law. This law will determine who will inherit the assets the decedent leaves and how much each beneficiary gets. 

If there’s no will, the court will designate an executor to represent the deceased personally. The representative’s main role is to ensure that the estate is taken care of. 

While there are laws to ensure that a decedent’s estate is watched over, it’s better to keep your loved ones out of such trouble. In that case, you should get an estate planning attorney in Las Cruces.

Plan the Distribution of Your Estate Now

A loved one’s death will always be torturous for those left behind. You can make your survivors’ lives easier by planning the distribution of your estate. 

The Law Office of Cristy J. Carbon-Gaul has the legal background, extensive experience, and specialization you need. We can help spare your beneficiaries the burden of settling your estate after your passing. Commission the services of Cristy, our estate planning attorney in Las Cruces, NM, and get things sorted. 

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