NEED TO PROBATE?
Not all estates require a probate or a personal representative. Much depends on how the decedent's property was titled. But when a probate is necessary, the person seeking appointment as Personal Representative applies to the Probate Court (or the District Court) to obtain legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent's estate.
WHERE & WHEN?
If probate is necessary, the probate case must be filed with the probate court in the county where the decedent resided (physically living/resident of) at the time of his/her death.
Probate may be filed any time between 5 days and three (3) years* after the decedent's death if a will is involved.
*If 3 years have passed from date of death and decedent has a will, file probate with District Court.
Normally, a probate must be filed within three years following the decedent's death. New Mexico law says that no probate may be filed during the first 120 hours (5 days) following the death.
Once a probate case is filed, it should be kept open until all creditors receive notice, make claims, taxes are paid and estate assets are distributed. Once the probate is closed (by filing verified statement of the Personal Representative), the Personal Representative no longer has authority to act for the Estate.
The docket fee to file for informal probate in the Probate Court is $30.00. Certification of filed documents is $1.00 per document. To have files copied by the Court costs $1.00 per page. The court accepts cash, checks, money orders or cashier's checks. $5.00/probate packets