Not every estate requires a probate proceeding. It often depends on how the decedent's assets were titled or whether someone's needs other legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. Examples of matters that may need a probate proceeding include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing title of real property or personal property, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Dealing with creditors
  • Obtaining medical or other protected records
  • Filing taxes, when necessary

Normally, a probate must be filed within 3 years following the decedent's death. Under New Mexico law no appointment of a personal representative may be made during the first 120 hours (five days) following the death.

After a probate has been filed, it needs to be kept open until all crediors receive notice, claims are resolved, taxes are paid, and estate assets are distributed. Once the probate is closed, the personal representative no long has authority to act on behalf of the estate.


Payment of a docket fee in the amount of $30.00 is required at the time a probate is filed. The court charges $ .50 per page for copies. The fee to have a document certified is $ .50 per document. The court accepts cash, checks, money orders or cashier's checks.