Term Ends: December 31, 2020
Los Alamos County Probate Court
Probate is the judicial process for transferring the property of a person who has died (called decedent). The property is transferred according to either: (1) the decedent's Will, or (2) if the decedent dies 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. Personal Representatives pass 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.
The Los Alamos County Probate Court has jurisdiction over an informal probate if:
The decedent was domiciled in Los Alamos County at the time of death (i.e. Los Alamos County was the permanent place of residency), or
The decedent lived outside New Mexico but owned property in Los Alamos County.
State law authorizes the Probate Courts to:
Admit wills to informal probate.
Appoint Personal Representatives informally (without a hearing), when there is no will.
Appoint Special Administrators.
Issue Certificates of Full Administration of the Estate.
State law also allows Probate Judges to perform marriages within their county.
Formal probates, determinations of heirship, contested cases, and trust matters cannot be heard by the Probate Court, but instead must be filed in the District Court.
In addition to adjudicating informal probate cases, the Los Alamos Probate Court provides general information on the probate process and access to public records that have been filed with the Court.