What happens if I die without a Will?
You actually already have a “Will”, but you didn’t design it. Anyone who dies without an estate plan that they created is given the default plan created by the New Mexico Law of Intestacy. If you die without a Will, a judge will appoint someone to be personal representative of your estate. This may not be the person you would choose if you had planned ahead. The Laws of Intestacy will determine where your property will go and when they get it. And if you have minor children, a judge will decide who will take care of them. The bottom line is that if you care about who handles and gets your property or how they get it, then you probably want a Will or Trust.
Another aspect of a will is if you have not passed away but you are unable to make healthcare decisions due to mental or physical incapacity (Alzheimer's, stroke, heart attack, etc.). Having a properly drafted Advance Health Care Directive will give your family, and healthcare workers direction on what your will is. This will not only designate a person of your choosing to make healthcare decisions for you, but it will also contain clear instructions on what you want.
Should I use the Living Will document from my doctor’s office?
We don’t recommend it. Most of these that we’ve seen don’t contain the critically important HIPAA language, and this can prevent your agent from being able to review your medical records or get information about your health from your doctor so your agent can make informed decisions about your care.