A New Mexico small estate affidavit allows an heir to inherit property without going through the standard probate process. The Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent (as it’s referred to in New Mexico) can only be used for small estates with a total value not exceeding $50,000 ( not including liens and encumbrances). With the affidavit, an heir may claim the decedent’s tangible property, stocks, and other assets thirty (30) days after the date of death.
Real estate cannot be transferred using the affidavit. Transferring real estate without probate can only be done if the property owner(s) recorded a Transfer on Death Deed in the county clerk’s office in which the property is located.
How to Record (3 Steps)
An Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent can be used if the claimant verifies the following:
- The total value of the decedent’s estate does not exceed $50,000, less liens and encumbrances.
- Thirty (30) days have passed since the decedent’s death.
- There is no pending or granted application or petition for an appointment of a personal representative.
- The claimant is entitled to the payment or property they intend to collect.
The claimant should execute the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent in the presence of a notary public and attach a certified or authenticated copy of the decedent’s death certificate. If the claimant is seeking to claim a vehicle, they should complete the Affidavit of Claiming Successor (MVD- 10013) form provided by the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division.
Note: The affidavit cannot be used to transfer real estate. The claimant may only inherit real estate without probate if there is an existing Transfer on Death Deed.
The completed and notarized document and death certificate should be provided to the party in possession of the decedent’s property. Upon being served the affidavit, that party must deliver to the claimant the payment, property, or instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, or chose in action indicated in the form.