|109 W 1st Street
Portales, NM 88130
Michelle Bargas, Probate Judge
Probate is the judicial process for transferring the property of a person who has died (called a decedent). The property is transferred according to either (1) the decedent’s Will, or (2) if the decedent died without a Will, according to New Mexico’s laws of intestate succession.
The Probate Court appoints legally qualified persons, called personal representatives, to manage and settle the decedent’s business affairs. The Probate Judge appoints a Personal Representative to transfer property of the deceased person’s estate property, real and personal, to the rightful recipients. Rightful recipients might include heirs, devisees named in a valid and current will, or creditors.
CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE
Once you receive a claim against the estate, you are responsible for determining whether it is a valid claim.
If you do not notify the Creditor within 60 days after the time for presentation of the claim has expired, it is deemed a valid claim.
You should pay valid claims out of the assets of the estate or make other arrangements to do so.
Prepare Inventory and Appraisal of Assets of the Estate
- Include reasonable detail and estimated value.
- You can hire an appraiser, but are not required to do so.
- You must provide a copy of this document to any interested person who requests it.
- You are not required to file this document with the Court, but may if you wish.
DISTRIBUTING THE ESTATE ASSETS
Priority for Distribution of Assets of the Estate
Once the personal representative pays the New Mexico family and personal property allowances due (if any), federal and state income and estate taxes (if required), and other bills, he or she can distribute the estate assets. The personal representative must follow the provisions of the Will, if any, or intestate laws, if no Will exists.
The heirs of an estate can agree to distribute assets contrary to the terms of the Will or the laws of intestate succession, but:
- The Agreement must be in writing;
- The Agreement must be signed by all who are affected by the terms of the Agreement; and
- File the Agreement with the Court.
Any real property transferred by the Personal Representative of the estate is done in his/her capacity as Personal Representative of the estate (see separate brochure on Real Property).
PREPARING THE ACCOUNTING OF THE ESTATE
- Keep records of all receipts and disbursements of the estate.
- The accounting lists the value and distribution of the estate assets.
- You are not required to file this document with the Court.
- You must provide a copy of this document to those who received the estate assets.
CLOSING A PROBATE CASE
Verified Statement of Personal
Representative (notarization required)
- It has been at least three (3) months since you opened the estate.
- The time for filing claims against the estate has expired.
- You have paid or otherwise resolved all claims against the estate and paid all taxes.
- All assets of the estate have been distributed to those entitled to them.
- The estate is ready to be closed.
A year after the filing of the Verified Statement, the estate is considered closed.
ROOSEVELT COUNTY PHONE NUMBERS
Probate Court: (575) 356-8562
Probate Judge: (575) 268-8967
County Clerk: (575) 356-8562
Treasurer: (575) 356-4081
Assessor: (575) 356-6971
OTHER USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS, WEBSITES & E-MAIL ADDRESSES
IRS: 1-800-829-1040; www.irs.treas.gov
NM Taxation & Revenue:
(505) 841-6200 Albuquerque
MVD: 1-888-683-4636; www.state.nm.us/tax/mvd/
Social Security: 1-800-772-1213; www.ssa.gov
Medicare: 1-800-633-4227; www.medicare.gov
Dept. of Veterans Affairs: 1-800-827-1000
Vital Statistics Dept. (for death certificates)
841-4183 Albuquerque; 1-505-827-0121 Santa Fe; www.health.state.nm.us Click on “Health Statistics”.