Probate refers to the process of Court-involved 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. 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 may include such goals as planning for incapacity, charitable giving and reducing liability exposures. The Steffy Law Firm is happy to offer a variety of planning techniques suited to your individual needs.
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 and many may be planned for and reduced by strategies prior to death.
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.
Note: Steffy Law Firm does not prepare tax returns, but seeks to work with clients and their tax preparers as part of Estate Administration.
While the Steffy Law Firm does not act as a Trustee, Agent under a Power of Attorney 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 gain insights into the process for liquidation, retention and distribution of assets. These are services provided by the Steffy Law Firm.
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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