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What assets are affected by intestate succession laws?
Assets not affected by intestate succession
There are numerous valuable assets that do not pass through a will and thus are not subject to intestate succession. For example, in New Mexico, the following assets remain unaffected by intestate succession laws:
- Any property the deceased transferred to a living trust
- IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account funds
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Transfer-on-death account securities
- Proceeds from life insurance
- Property owned with the decedent through joint tenancy
- Real estate held by transfer-on-death deed
Regardless of whether you have a will, these assets will pass directly to the co-owner or beneficiary named.
How assets are divided under intestate succession
When there is no will, New Mexico distributes a decedent’s property based on heirship:
- Surviving spouse and children — In this situation, the spouse receives all communal property and a quarter of the decedent’s separate property.
- Surviving spouse and no children — Everything goes to the spouse.
- Surviving children and no spouse — The children receive everything.
- Parents and no children or spouse — Everything goes to the parents
- Siblings and no spouse, children, or parents — The siblings inherit everything.
Under New Mexico’s survivorship period, a person must be alive 120 hours longer than you to be eligible to inherit your estate.