Probate refers to the process of Court-directed administration of an Estate. This may be done according to the Will of an individual or according to the NM state statutes that direct the property left in the name of someone who dies without a Will. The Court will appoint a personal representative to gather assets, pay debts and expenses, and distribute the net Estate. This personal representative is responsible to the heirs of the deceased person and must report to them and the Court on activities. The Steffy Law Firm PC can assist with Court pleadings, hearings, gathering assets, assessing creditor claims, reporting and distributions.
Estate planning directs the assets and names a guardian for the minor children for which a person is responsible. This may be done through a Revocable Trust, a written Will, a series of title changes and beneficiary designations, or a combination of these. Estate planning can include planning for incapacity, a special needs child and asset protection as well. The Steffy Law Firm is happy to offer a variety of planning techniques suited to your individual needs.
ll Estate Planning involves tax planning. Not all Estates will be subject to Estate Tax (a Federal tax on the assets passed from a deceased person to his or her heirs), but all transfers of assets and debt are sensitive to income tax. Some of the tax issues will arise post death. At that time certain elections or decisions might be made in order to avoid unnecessary tax.
Entity formation, dissolution, conversion and succession (transfer) are also highly tax sensitive and should not be discussed without an in-depth assessment of the business goals, risk for personal liability and tax consequences of the various options.
While the Steffy Law Firm does not offer services as a Trustee or Personal Representative, it does offer counsel to those serving as Trustee, Agent under a Power of Attorney, or Personal Representative in probate. Questions may arise as to how to amend an existing Trust or modify an Irrevocable Trust for a change in the law, an error, an unforeseen circumstance, tax advantage or the like. Other times a fiduciary may wish to resign their position, or provide an official accounting. These are services provided by the Steffy Law Firm.
Obtaining, maintaining or converting tax exempt status and minimizing taxable income have become exponentially more complicated in very recent years. Steffy Law Firm can support a nonprofit in numerous areas of concern. A not-for-profit has unique issues and questions that must be addressed with an eye to the preservation of tax exemption and continuance of a charitable or public purpose.
An Estate Plan may include aspects of charitable giving. In some scenarios a charitable Trust or Foundation may suit an individual's needs. The Steffy Law Firm can assist in planning with these tools.
DISCLAIMER: This website is for general informational purposes. It is not intended, nor should it be used as legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your situation. This website does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Steffy Law Firm, P.C. does not represent you unless and until you have a written confirmation of the mutually agreed upon terms of representation.
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