In New Mexico if a person writes up a will and signs it themselves, it will not be considered valid.
The importance of the language contained in a last will and testament is paramount, but it is additionally important the document is prepared in accordance with New Mexico law to assure a smooth transfer of assets and property upon a person’s death. Basic requirements of a will document include:
- the person making the will referred to as the testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
- they must sign the document or have it signed by someone else through their direction.
- two witnesses must be present at the same time to personally witness either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature of the will.
- the will must be in writing.
- property can be left to anyone that is named as a beneficiary.
In New Mexico if a person writes up a will and signs it themselves, it will not be considered valid. This is called a holographic will which is not recognized by the State. New Mexico estate planning lawyers can assist surviving loved ones and beneficiaries with questions surrounding a holographic will document if that is the only document available after a person dies.
A Last Will and Testament is important for the purposes of explaining where and how an individual would like their assets divided, debts resolved and end of life issues outlined because they are very personal matters. Experienced Albuquerque estate planning lawyers can guide clients to make sure a will contains the legally necessary language to assure their wishes can be honored at the time of their death according to New Mexico and federal laws.
New Mexico Uniform Probate Codes did not incorporate wills prepared on stationary store forms and they are not recognized by New Mexico law so it is important to seek advice from estate planning lawyers to determine if a will is determined valid by a New Mexico Probate Judge.
Changes can be made to a will but they must be executed in the same fashion as the original signing of the will. A will can be revoked by executing a subsequent document and destroying the original by the testator or someone else at their direction when they are of sound mind.
Hire a lawyer
Consultation with a lawyer is important to understand the distinction between written wills and holographic wills that may be written in other states that recognize them, but impacts a person who currently lives or dies in New Mexico. When possible, it is best to hire estate planning lawyers to draft essential documentation to minimize legal challenges to a deceased’s estate. Consultation with tax lawyers is also a prudent decision so they can review estate planning documents and explain how tax burdens will be managed.