In general, when someone dies, the estate must go through probate which can be a complicated and lengthy process. But many states provide less complicated options for smaller estates.

New Mexico law provides for simplified probate when the value of the entire estate less liens and encumbrances does not exceed the value of personal property held by or in the possession of the decedent as fiduciary or trustee, exempt property allowance, family allowance, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent.  The decedent’s personal representative may, without giving notice to creditors, immediately distribute the estate to the persons entitled to it.

Another option in New Mexico for heirs or beneficiaries to inherit property is the use of an affidavit. The heirs or beneficiaries prepare an affidavit identifying the assets they are entitled to inherit. This option may be used when the entire estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances does not exceed $30,000. After a waiting period of 30 days, the beneficiaries simply present the affidavit to the holders of the decedent’s property and it will be transferred to them.