Probate Court
Contact Info

Contact Info

505-663-1732

505-662-8008

anne.nobile@lacnm.us

1000 Central Ave Suite 240

Friday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

505-709-7463 cell

Ann Nobile - Probate Judge




Anne Nobile 
Probate Judge

Term Ends: December 31, 2018




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.

Probate Process

When is probate needed?
Not all estates require a probate or appointment of a Personal Representative. Much depends on how the decedent's property was titled. But when an informal probate is necessary, the person seeking appointment as Personal Representative applies to the Probate Court (or the District Court) to obtain authority to act on behalf of the decedent's estate.


What is the filing deadline?

Normally, a probate must be filed within three years following the decedent's death. New Mexico law says that no probate may be filed during the first 120 hours (5 days) following the death. Once a probate case is filed it should be kept open until all creditors receive notice, make claims, taxes are paid and estate assets are distributed. Once the probate is closed, the Personal Representative no longer has authority to act for the estate.


What is the cost of filing a case?
The docket fee to file for informal probate in the Probate Court is $30.00. Certification of filed documents is $.50 per document. To have files copied by the Court, the fee is $0.10 per copy per page.

Fees must accompany recording. Your original documents will not be returned. Please notify our office if copies of the recorded documents will be needed.If you require recorded copies, please provide a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of your copies.


How to Open a Probate Case?
Estate papers (called pleadings), the original Will, if any, and proper payment are presented together to the Court for review and appointment of the Personal Representative and/or probate of the Will. The initial Application must be signed by the applicant in the presence of a notary public and should include an original death certificate. Applicants must submit complete, accurate and truthful pleadings to the Court.

If, for any reason, the Court does not accept the filing, all payments and pleadings are returned to the applicant. Once the Court opens the probate case, no refunds are possible.

After the Judge signs the Order appointing the Personal Representative, the Court issues Letters Testamentary (cases where the decedent left a valid Will) or Letters of Administration (in cases where the decedent did not leave a valid Will). These Letters give the Personal Representative legal authority to conduct the decedent's estate business.

Examples of actions that are the responsibility of the Personal Representative include:

  • Paying creditors.
  • Legally changing the title to real property owned by the decedent into the name of the new owner(s).
  • Legally changing the title to personal property owned by the decedent into the name of the new owner(s).
  • Distributing assets to heirs or devisees.
  • Filing decedent's income taxes and estate taxes, if necessary.


Need Help?

Probate Court cases can be filed with or without the help of an attorney. Do-it-yourself forms are available. These forms can be downloaded for free from the following website: New Mexico Supreme Court - Probate Forms.

Probate Court form packets can also be purchased for $5.00 directly from the Court. 

The Court cannot counsel or provide legal advice. Individuals should consult an attorney in situations when legal services are needed. An informational guide about the Duties of the Personal Representative is available. 

Accessing Probate Records

To view probate record index information, please visit the Online Records Website.

Index search is available for the following dates:
Marriage records back to June 1949
Probate records back to February 1953

In order to ensure the security and privacy of our citizens, images are NOT available online.

To request copies, please contact the County Clerk office:

By Phone at (505) 662-8010
By Email at clerks@lacnm.us
By Mail at 1000 Central Avenue, Suite 240, Los Alamos, NM 87544
In Person, by visiting Suite 240, on the 2nd Floor of the Municipal Building

Copy Fees: 
$0.10 per page
$0.10 per certification

Wedding Information

About Ceremonies: 
In New Mexico, state law allows Probate Judges to perform marriages within their county of jurisdiction.

If you are interested in having the Los Alamos County Probate Judge officiate a wedding ceremony, please review the Wedding Ceremony Planning Form and contact the Judge for additional details and/or questions. NOTE: Gratuity not allowed.


Marriage License Requirements:
You must have a valid Marriage License prior to your ceremony.

For more information on Marriage Licenses, including requirements visit the County Clerk Marriage License webpage, or contact their office at (505) 662-8010.