Once the testator dies, the New Mexico Last Will and Testament must be submitted to probate in order to be able to transfer property. 45-3-102. There are situations where no probate is required if the estate is small enough. The executor must also apply to be appointed as personal representative of the estate.
Estate does not exceed $30,000
If the entire estate consists of personal property worth $30,000 or less, a beneficiary under the New Mexico Will may simply use an Affidavit to collect the decedent’s personal property without probating the Will. 45-3-1201. This process may be used after 30 days of the death.
If it appears that the estate does not exceed the family allowance, personal property allowance and necessary administration costs, funeral expenses and medical/hospital expenses of the decedent’s last illness, then the personal representative may distribute the estate immediately. This can be done without probate and without giving notice to creditors. The personal representative simply needs to file a closing statement. 45-3-1203
Informal Probate of a New Mexico Will
If there is a New Mexico Last Will & Testament in place, the executor named in the document may file a Probate Form 4B-102, Application for informal probate of will and for informal appointment of personal representative. If the probate court is satisfied with the application, then it may grant the probate order and issue Letters Testamentary to appoint the personal representative.
Once granted, the applicant must give written notice of the probate to heirs and devisees within 30 days. 45-3-306
An estate tax return (Form RPD-41058) only needs to be filed if the personal representative has a duty to file a federal estate tax return. The state return must be filed with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD). The same deadlines apply as for federal filing.
The state tax equals the federal credit on the transfer of the net estate for residents. For non-residents the tax equals the federal credit imposed on the net estate located in New Mexico.