One day while driving, I noticed a large billboard with the following phrase written in bold font: “Great Stories are Ruined by Bad Endings.” While so many things in life are outside of your control, the ending to your story is not. Creating an Estate Plan allows you to write the ending to your story. That being said, why do so many people die without an Estate Plan in place?
There are countless misconceptions associated with Estate Planning. One of the most popular is the “Simple Will”. Many people believe that their net worth dictates the level of sophistication their estate plan should achieve. Although sophisticated tax planning becomes prevalent for individuals with a high net worth, most Estate Planning is focused on diminishing the burden on your loved ones once you are gone, no matter your level of net worth.
You should know that in New Mexico a Will must be probated in order to be effective. A probate proceeding can take anywhere from six months to a year and typically costs between three and five thousand dollars ($3,000-$5,000). The details, including the names of heirs and beneficiaries along with the assets of the estate and who they were distributed to can become public record as a result of a probate proceeding.
My approach to Estate Planning is focused on education. I want to educate my clients about their options when it comes to Estate Planning. At some point, time and money will be spent dealing with your Estate. I’ve found that most people prefer to spend the time and money now and leave less of a burden for their loved ones after they’re gone. If that’s you, I would urge you to call our office and schedule a meeting with me to review your existing estate plan or to set up a new one.
It’s your story, why not write the ending now and get back to your adventure. – Matt Danner