New Mexico Lawyers Assist with Family Allowance in Probate
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New Mexico law reserves a certain amount of money — called allowances — from a decedent’s estate for spouses and children who lived in New Mexico. In New Mexico, family and personal property allowances apply regardless of whether a will exists. At New Mexico Financial and Family, we have a strong grasp on the various estate planning laws in the state. Whether you have been denied your right to a family or personal allowance, or need help understanding New Mexico’s inheritance provisions, you can trust us to help you find the right path forward.
New Mexico family allowance law
The law allows $30,000 of a decedent’s estate to pass to the surviving spouse. The decedent’s minor and dependent children share the $30,000 in equal shares if there is no surviving spouse. This family allowance is exempt from and has priority over any claims against the estate, including those of creditors. If the estate has debts, creditors cannot claim this $30,000 if the decedent left behind a spouse and/or minor and dependent children.
Remember, the family allowance is in addition to any inheritance left to the spouse and minor/dependent children, unless otherwise specified in a will. Adult children are not eligible to receive the family allowance.
Personal property allowance in New Mexico
The state also allows a $15,000 personal property allowance for the surviving spouse. This allowance can be satisfied by automotive vehicles, appliances, furniture and personal items worth $15,000. If the decedent’s personal effects are valued at less than $15,000, cash or other assets of the estate can be used to satisfy this allowance. When there is no surviving spouse, the decedent’s minor, dependent, and adult children share the $15,000. However, children specifically left out of a will are not eligible for any of the $15,000.
The personal property allowance is exempt from and has priority over all estate claims, except for the family allowance. Thus, the spouse and children of the decedent have first claim to the $15,000. Unless a will says otherwise, this personal property allowance is in addition to any inheritance left to the spouse and children.
It is important to recognize that family and personal property allowances only apply to the estates of decedents who resided in New Mexico.
Contact knowledgeable probate lawyers in New Mexico
For more than 25 years, New Mexico Financial and Family has represented clients in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas with passion and integrity. If you need competent guidance with a probate issue, call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online to discuss your case with experienced probate attorney in New Mexico.
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