When Can Someone be Declared Legally Incompetent?

If a loved one is experiencing memory loss or suddenly making poor decisions and they do not have a power of attorney in place, you may need the court to appoint a guardian, which requires a declaration of incompetence. Determining whether someone is incompetent to make their own decisions is a complicated process. If a loved one is unable to … Read More

When Is It Time to Revise Your Will or Trust?

Couple relaxing on bed in their new home

When completing a Will or Trust, oftentimes people believe it will never need to be changed. But typically, life is filled with changing circumstances, and it is important to revise your Will or Trust following major changes in your life. There are several major changes in your life which should prompt you to update or revise your Will or Trust: … Read More

People’s Motivation to Do Estate Planning

There are many reasons clients are motivated to do their estate planning, but the two I hear most are they are going to be travelling, usually overseas, or they have an upcoming surgery. Nothing like flying across the ocean or going under the knife to get you thinking about your mortality. Along those lines, my observations suggest people equate estate … Read More

What Are the “Powers” in Powers of Attorney?

What are the “powers” in Powers of Attorney? It is very common for clients to say to us, “My mom/dad/friend/sister/etc. just made me their Power of Attorney.  What does that mean?” Here are some general rules to keep in mind if you find yourself in that situation: Read the forms In New Mexico, there are two types of Power of … Read More

Powers of Attorney – What They Are and Why You Need Them

Do you have financial and healthcare powers of attorney? Most people equate estate planning only with dying, but there are other important components of an estate plan that are relevant while you are alive, one of those is powers of attorney (POAs). In New Mexico, there are financial and health care powers of attorney. There are many benefits to having … Read More

When Should You Review Your Estate Planning Documents?

First, let’s clarify what your estate planning documents are. Of course, they include your Will and any Codicils, and perhaps your trust or trusts. But they also include any powers of attorney (both financial and health care) as well as all beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement plans, annuities and transfer on death accounts. A thorough review of your estate … Read More

Organ Donation – Best to Include in Advanced Health Care Directive

Organ donation can be a difficult subject to discuss with family members, and can be an even more difficult subject when family members are faced with the decision after a loved one’s death.  However, donating an organ or even a whole body for scientific study, medical education. or to save the life of another can be an important part of … Read More

Q & A About Guardianship and Conservatorship

What is Guardianship? The court approved process of appointing a person or agency to act on behalf of an incapacitated adult who is unable to manage some or all aspects of his or her care. What is Conservatorship? The court approved process of appointing a person or agency to manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated adult who is unable … Read More

New Year Means New Beginnings and Time to Review Your Estate Plan

The New Year brings many new beginnings. We often start the New Year with good intentions and resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, curtail some of our other less than healthy habits, be kinder, more patient, travel more, and maybe complain less. But is there anything else we should be thinking about as we hang the fresh, new calendar on … Read More

Powers of Attorney

The holidays are a time when sons and daughters return home to visit their parents. Often, they are surprised to see the decline in their parents’ health and independence. When this happens, the sons and daughters need to know what to do. Most important is to make sure that elderly family members are safe. From a legal standpoint, it is … Read More

What if you are appointed as Personal Representative, Trustee or Agent?

First, we have to understand the concept of a “hot document.”  A hot document is one that confers authority.  A Will is never a hot document until the Testator dies.  A Power of Attorney usually confers authority at the time that the document is signed.  Sometimes, a Power of Attorney is drafted as a “springing power” which means that it … Read More

Is Being an Agent a Mission Impossible?

An agent is a person chosen by another person to act on their behalf.  The person who chooses an agent is often called the “principal.”  The agent represents the legal rights and responsibilities of the principal, but the principal does not give up any of those rights when appointing an agent.  The most common form of agency that our law … Read More