Experienced Legal Team Assists with Formal Probate
Committed New Mexico Lawyers deliver personalized counsel
Formal probate is the court process of acquiring legal authority to act on behalf of the estate of someone who has died. If you need help with formal probate in New Mexico, it is essential that you retain the services of experienced attorneys. At New Mexico Financial and Family, we have more than 25 years of legal experience serving clients throughout the community. No matter how complicated your probate case may seem, our team of dedicated probate attorneys in Albuquerque are ready to help you on the road ahead.
Timeline for formal probate
Generally, probate must be filed within 3 years after the decedent’s death. New Mexico law prohibits the appointment of a personal representative 120 hours after the decedent’s death. Probate must be kept open until taxes are paid, creditors are notified, estate assets are distributed, and third party claims are settled. After probate closes, the individual appointed as personal representative no longer has any power to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
Appointing a personal representative when there is no will
In many cases, informal probate can be used to process a decedent’s estate. However, when a dispute arises, the courts typically intervene to resolve the issue at hand. When a will fails to name a personal representative and beneficiaries cannot agree on who should be named as one, a formal probate proceeding in the district court is needed.
A personal representative must then be chosen based on heirship:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse has first priority.
- If there is no surviving spouse, or the spouses refuses, the children of the decedent have equal priority.
- When no spouse or children exist, the decedent’s parents have priority.
- The decedent’s siblings have equal priority for appointment when no spouse, children, or parents exist.
- If none of the above listed people remain, a creditor or other interested person may also serve as Personal Representative.
If you are named personal representative of a loved one’s estate, we can guide you through the steps ahead. With nearly three decades of legal experience, we can quickly assess your case and help you make tough decisions with confidence.
Contact skilled probate lawyers in New Mexico
New Mexico Financial and Family understands the stress and frustration of dealing with probate. We guide you through each step in the process and help you minimize conflicts along the way. To speak to a trusted New Mexico probate attorney today, call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online.