The court-supervised process known as probate begins the distribution of assets and property after an estate owner’s death. Probate happens in certain (but not every) case of administering an estate. While the process is similar to other states, there are often questions about the average cost of probate in New Mexico. Cost will fluctuate, depending on a number of things, including:
Complexity and size of the estate
If any heirs contest any part of the Will
What type of Estate Plans were established
If a probate attorney is used
Common Probate Fees in New Mexico
Despite probate costs ranging, some fees are common in most proceedings, including:
Miscellaneous court fees and filing fees
Attorney fees (if an attorney is retained)
Personal Representative compensation - New Mexico is a reasonable compensation state
Probate Bond (if required)
Various other professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in New Mexico
How Long Does Probate Take in New Mexico?
Probate in New Mexico can take about two years, although the majority of the work (about 90 percent) is finalized in the first six months.
What is UPC in New Mexico?
The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) was developed in an effort to establish a national standard for all states to reference when estates go through probate. To date, just 18 states, including New Mexico, have adopted the code. The UPC says there are three types of probate proceedings:
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in New Mexico?
If an estate is simple and uncontested, probate attorney fees in New Mexico can range from $3,000 - $5,000 in total. As things get more complicated, legal fees will adjust accordingly.
How to Avoid Probate in New Mexico?
If you’re hoping to avoid probate in New Mexico, you may be able to use the following tactics:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Create and update beneficiary and contingent beneficiary designations
Title assets and property as Joint Tenancy, Community Property With Right of Survivorship or Tenancy by the Entirety
Create assets and open accounts that are TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Estates valued lower than the New Mexico “small estate” threshold might also be able to avoid probate.
What is Considered a Small Estate in New Mexico?
If an estate is valued at less than $500,000 you can use an Affidavit for real estate (several stipulations apply). A summary probate procedure may be used when the estate value does not exceed the Homestead allowance.
Who Pays Probate Fees in New Mexico?
Probate lawyer fees in New Mexico (and all other fees) are paid for by the estate, not inheritors.