2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 45: Uniform Probate Code
Article 3: Probate of Wills and Administration, 45-3-101 through 45-3-1302
Section 45-3-108: Probate, testacy and appointment proceedings; ultimate time limit. (Effective January 1, 2012.)
45-3-108. Probate, testacy and appointment proceedings; ultimate time limit.
A. No informal probate or appointment proceeding or formal testacy or appointment proceeding, other than a proceeding to probate a will previously probated at the testator's domicile or appointment proceedings relating to an estate in which there has been a prior appointment, may be commenced more than three years after the decedent's death, except:
(1) if a previous proceeding was dismissed because of doubt about the fact of the decedent's death, then appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained at any time thereafter upon a finding that the decedent's death occurred prior to the initiation of the previous proceeding and the applicant or petitioner has not delayed unduly in initiating the subsequent proceeding;
(2) appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained in relation to the estate of an absent, disappeared or missing person for whose estate a conservator has been appointed at any time within three years after the conservator becomes able to establish the death of the protected person;
(3) a proceeding to contest an informally probated will and to secure appointment of the person with legal priority for appointment in the event the contest is successful may be commenced within the later of twelve months from the informal probate or three years from the decedent's death;
(4) an informal appointment or a formal testacy or appointment proceeding may be commenced thereafter if no proceedings concerning the succession or estate administration has occurred within the three-year period after the decedent's death, but the personal representative has no right to possess estate assets as provided in Section 45-3-709 NMSA 1978 beyond that necessary to confirm title thereto in the successors to the estate and claims other than expenses of administration may not be presented against the estate; and
(5) a formal testacy proceeding may be commenced at any time after three years from the decedent's death for the purpose of establishing an instrument to direct or control the ownership of property passing or distributable after the decedent's death from one other than the decedent when the property is to be appointed by the terms of the decedent's will or is to pass or be distributed as a part of the decedent's estate or its transfer is otherwise to be controlled by the terms of the decedent's will.
B. The limitations set out in Subsection A of this section do not apply to proceedings to construe probated wills or determine heirs of an intestate. In cases pursuant to the provisions of Paragraph (1) or (2) of Subsection A of this section, the date on which a testacy or appointment proceeding is properly commenced shall be deemed to be the date of the decedent's death for purposes of other limitation provisions of the Uniform Probate Code [45-1-101 NMSA 1978] that relate to the date of death.
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