Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Mexico Probate Change 2012

Albuquerque Probate Lawyer on 2012 Law Change

In a recent article we published something regarding the New Mexico Small Estate Affidavit and how it works in New Mexico. One of the important changes to the New Mexico Probate Code here in 2012 increases the amount that the Estate must be under in order to make use of a Small Estate Affidavit. It used to be $30,000, but that amount has increased to $50,000 for people who die in 2012 or later. This change will make it so that families with small estates will not have be burdened by the expenses associated with probate to transfer items of personal property. Again, a Small Estate Affidavit is a useful tool in being able to wrap up a deceased loved one's affairs, but it cannot be used to transfer real estate.

The fact that the deceased person may have owned property at death does not necessarily mean that a probate proceeding will need to be commenced to transfer that property.  In New Mexico there are several ways that land can be transferred so that probate is not required. A Albuquerque Probate Lawyer can tell you if a particular piece of real estate will have to go through probate to transfer ownership.

Of course the key to avoiding probate is talking to an Albuquerque Estate Planning Attorney, who can help you setup your estate in such a way as to avoid probate. With regard to transferring property, an Estate Attorney can advise you how to do so without having to go through probate. Hiring an estate planning attorney that is local is important because where you die controls part of your property, but with regard to real estate, the property (and mechanisms to pass title of that property) is controlled by the State's laws in which it resides. Good planning will help cut down the costs associated with probate, but often more importantly, good planning can cut down on the time factor that a probate proceeding inherently adds. Some transfers of real estate can be setup to happen automatically, which can be important for the heirs in trying to administrate the deceased person's estate.        

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