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Court of Wills, Estates & Probate

What is an Heir?

A personal representative is required to give notice to all heirs of a decedent's estate. The information that follows should assist personal representatives in identifying the heirs of an estate.

As defined by the New Mexico Probate Code, heirs are persons "…including the surviving spouse and the state, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of the decedent". This means those people who would be entitled to inherit the decedent's estate if the decedent (deceased person) died without a valid Will (intestate).

This is important because New Mexico law requires that the heirs of an estate be listed in an Application for Appointment of Personal Representative, even if an heir is omitted from a Will or is specifically disinherited. 

The Personal Representative of the estate is also required to give the heirs notice of his/ her appointment within ten days of the appointment. This requirement gives the heirs an opportunity to challenge the Will or appointment of Personal Representative.



Please take notice of these legal changes, which took effect July 1, 2016, which include, but are not limited to:

 

45-3-801. NOTICE TO CREDITORS

A personal Representative upon appointment may publish a notice to creditors once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper or general circulation in the county in which the probate proceeding is pending, announcing the personal representative’s appointment and address and notifying creditors of the estate to present their claims within four months after the date of the first publication of the notice or be forever barred.

 

45-3-1003. CLOSING ESTATE – BY SWORN STATEMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Unless prohibited by order of the district court an d except for estate being administered in supervised administration proceedings, a personal representative may close an estate by filing with the court, no earlier than six months after the date of original appointment of a general personal representative for the estate.

 

Help?

Some procedures may require the services of an attorney. The Court can provide information, and Probate Court forms but not legal services, legal advice or other forms. Additional information on probate is available in our other brochures and at the Probate Court's website.

 

Contact Information

Bernalillo County Probate Court
One Civic Plaza NW, 6th Floor
Albuquerque NM 87102

Telephone: (505) 468-1234
Fax: (505) 768-5180

Second Judicial District Court--Civil Division
P.O. Box 448
Albuquerque, NM 87103

Telephone: (505) 841-7451

Fax: (505) 841-7495

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