What is the Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning?

Elder law and estate planning serve two different—but equally vital—functions. The main difference is that elder law is focused on preserving your assets during your lifetime, while estate planning concentrates on what happens to your assets after you die. Elder law planning is concerned with ensuring that seniors live long, healthy, and financially secure lives. It usually involves anticipating future … Read More

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

How to Have a Financial Management Conversation with an Elderly Loved One

Guest Blog By SilverBills Having a conversation with an older adult relative about financial matters may be challenging. However, conversations such as these are essential as they provide an opportunity to talk about what a loved one may need help with as he or she ages. Starting these conversations can sometimes be problematic, as the idea of allowing others to help … 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

How Will Divorce Affect My Credit Score?

Man taking credit card out of wallet

As a family law attorney, a common question clients ask is, “How will the divorce affect my credit score?” The answer is: it depends. Below I discuss some factors in which divorce may affect your credit score. The Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) and Your Credit Score In a divorce in New Mexico, the Court requires several documents to terminate the … Read More

How Divorce Can Affect Your Finances Later in Life

Older man and woman sitting on a bench by the beach

Divorce is generally a tumultuous time, no matter when it occurs. Financial issues are a common cause of strain during the divorce process, from how resources will be divided to alimony or childcare payments and which assets are included in the calculations. But you may be surprised to learn that those who divorce after the age of 50 are in … Read More

Where Should I Keep My Estate Planning Documents?

Esther was 78-years-old when she passed away peacefully in her sleep.  She was a widow and the mother of four children.  Esther had always been a very private person who shared very little with her children about her finances, her end of life wishes, her funeral and burial wishes, and her estate plan.  Two years prior to her death, Esther … 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

7 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent

About 6 million kids in America receive special education, according to the U.S. Department of Education. One out of every 10 children under the age of 14 has some type of special need, which includes any physical, cognitive, or medical disability, or chronic or life-threatening illness. Raising a child with any disorder, condition or special need, is both a blessing … Read More

Do I need a trust?

Just yesterday, I was asked by a friend “Do you think that I need a trust?” “Well,” I said, in my usual lawyerly fashion, “it depends.” In our law firm, we draft many trusts for many different reasons. We also discuss with clients whether or not they should have a trust of any sort. There are many types of trusts, … 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

How to Talk to Your Family About Estate Planning

Discussing finances and end-of-life decisions is not an easy discussion to have with loved ones, but it is an important one.  Often many problems in probating an estate or caring for an elderly parent or grandparent can be avoided by simply making sure that necessary conversations occur before it is too late. What should a family discuss?  Here are some … Read More

Estate Planning- Not Just for the Rich and Famous

Estate Planning- Is It for Everyone? Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous.  Ask yourself this – -Do you have now or have you had a spouse/partner? -Do you have children or grandchildren? -Are they under age 18? -Are they adults that behave like children? -Do you own your home? -Do you own a vacation home or … Read More

Guardianship for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Parents of children with developmental disabilities are often surprised to learn that when their child turns eighteen, they no longer have the right to make medical decisions for their child or manage their child’s finances. If the child is incapacitated, that is, unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs, the parents need to consider guardianship and conservatorship. In New … Read More