Your estate plan may represent the most important set of legal documents you create over the course of your lifetime given that the purpose of your estate plan is to protect you, your assets, and your loved ones. Given how important your estate plan is, selecting an estate planning attorney to assist you in the creation of that plan should be done with a commensurate level of care and consideration. At Morris Hall PLLC, we understand how important it is to choose the right attorney to work with you on creating a plan that accomplishes all of your inter-related estate planning goals and objectives. We are honored to be the estate planning law firm of choice for so many of our friends and neighbors in the Santa Fe, New Mexico community and it would be our privilege to have the opportunity to work with you on your estate plan.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Located less than an hour’s drive northeast of Albuquerque, Santa Fe covers approximately 40 square miles and is home to about 70,000 people. The city’s full name remains La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís, which means “The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi.”
The area we now know as Santa Fe, New Mexico was originally occupied by indigenous Tanoan peoples, who lived in numerous Pueblo villages along the Rio Grande around 900-1000 A.D. Tanoans and other Pueblo peoples settled along the Santa Fe River for its water and transportation. Sadly, the Santa Fe River, which at that time had a year-around flow, is now one of the most endangered rivers in the U.S. The first Europeans to colonize the area were the Spanish at the end of the 16th century. In 1610, Santa Fe was designated as the capital of the Spanish province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México. Santa Fe has remained a capital since that time, making it the oldest state capital in the United States. The city’s status as the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was formalized in the 1824 Constitution after Mexico achieved independence from Spain.
In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico and two years later, in 1848, the U.S. officially gained New Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. As railroads were extended into the West, Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. But as the tracks were constructed into New Mexico, the civil engineers decided that it was more practical to go through Lamy, a town in Santa Fe County to the south of Santa Fe. As a result, Santa Fe suffered gradual economic decline into the early 20th century. Activists created a number of resources for the arts and archaeology, notably the School of American Research, created in 1907. By the early part of the 20th century, Santa Fe had become a base for numerous writers and artists.
In 1912, New Mexico was admitted as the United States of America’s 47th state, with Santa Fe as its capital. At that time, the town’s population was approximately 5,000 people. The city’s civic leaders designed and enacted a sophisticated city plan that incorporated elements of contemporary movements for the City Beautiful movement, city planning, and historic preservation. Envisioning future conflicts between preservationists and scientific planners, the city’s leaders established the principle that historic streets and structures be preserved and that new development must be in harmony with the city’s character. Throughout the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st century, Santa Fe has continued to gain prominence and notoriety as an artist community.
Morris Hall PLLC in the Santa Fe, New Mexico Community
At the estate planning firm of Morris Hall PLLC, our goal is to create lifelong relationships with our clients who live and work in the Santa Fe community because estate planning, when done properly, is a lifelong process. As you move through the various stages of your life, and your estate becomes more complicated and complex, changes will need to be made to your estate plan in order to keep up. We hope to be there with you to ensure those changes are properly incorporated into your estate plan.
Although a successful estate plan requires a solid foundation, that foundation must then be built upon to fortify the foundation. The plan you create when you are young, single, and just beginning your career will not be sufficient to meet your needs later in life when you have a family and a larger estate to consider. Routine reviews and revisions are crucial to ensure that your estate plan reflects your life as it is now, not as it was several years ago. The focus of your initial estate plan, for example, may simply be to ensure that you do not leave behind an intestate estate. Consequently, a Last Will and Testament may be all you need. As you move through the various stages of your life, however, that Will may become inadequate to protect your assets and your loved ones. Deciding to marry and/or become a parent, for example, will necessitate additions to your initial plan as you now have a family to protect and provide for in your plan. At that point, you may decide to create a trust to protect your minor child’s inheritance, for example, as well as incorporate incapacity planning into your overall plan. As the value of your estate grows, you will need to consider tax avoidance and asset protection tools as well. Finally, as you look toward your “Golden Years,” you will want to incorporate your retirement plans into your estate plan and add Medicaid planning to your comprehensive estate plan along with funeral and burial planning tools to ensure that your final wishes are honored.
At the Santa Fe, New Mexico law firm of Morris Hall PLLC, we plan to be with you throughout the course of your lifetime to ensure that your estate plan reflects your needs and desires.
If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or wish to get started on your plan today, contact an experienced Santa Fe, New Mexico estate planning attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.
(New office as of Feb 2017)
810 Calle Mejia
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(Parallel to St Francis Dr, near The Lodge Hotel and Guarduño’s Restaurant. Next to Edward Jones)