2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 45 - Uniform Probate Code
Article 3 - Probate of Wills and Administration
Part 10 - CLOSING ESTATES
Section 45-3-1001 - Formal proceedings terminating administration; testate or intestate; order of general protection.
A. A personal representative or any interested person may petition for an order of complete settlement of the estate. The personal representative may petition at any time, and any other interested person may petition after one year from the appointment of the original personal representative, except that no petition under this section may be entertained until the time for presenting claims which arose prior to the death of the decedent has expired.
B. The petition may request the district court to:
(1) determine testacy, if not previously determined;
(2) consider the final account or compel or approve an accounting and distribution;
(3) construe any will or determine heirs; and
(4) adjudicate the final settlement and distribution of the estate.
C. After notice to all interested persons and subsequent hearing, the district court may enter an order or orders, on appropriate conditions, determining the persons entitled to distribution of the estate, and, as circumstances require, approving settlement and directing or approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative from further claim or demand of any interested person.
D. If one or more heirs or devisees were omitted as parties in, or were not given notice of, a previous formal testacy proceeding, the district court, on proper petition for an order of complete settlement of the estate under this section, and after notice to the omitted or unnotified persons and other interested persons determined to be interested on the assumption that the previous order concerning testacy is conclusive as to those given notice of the earlier proceeding, may determine testacy as it affects the omitted persons and confirm or alter the previous order of testacy as it affects all interested persons as appropriate in the light of the new proofs.
E. In the absence of objection by an omitted or unnotified person, evidence received in the original testacy proceeding shall constitute prima facie proof of due execution of any will previously admitted to probate, or the fact that the decedent left no valid will if the prior proceedings determined this fact.
History: 1953 Comp., § 32A-3-1001, enacted by Laws 1975, ch. 257, § 3-1001.ANNOTATIONS
Official comments. — See Commissioners on Uniform State Law official comment to 3-1001 UPC.
Compiler's notes. — This section includes within its scope some of the functions of former 31-12-6, 31-12-7 and 31-12-11 to 31-12-15, 1953 Comp.
Cross references. — For necessity for certificate as to estate taxes to allow final settlement, see 7-7-8 NMSA 1978.
Applicability of section. — A party seeking to set aside an order admitting the deceased's will to probate was not entitled to relief under this section because he was neither an heir nor a devisee under the will. This section applies only when an heir or devisee was admitted as a party or not given notice of the previous formal testacy proceeding. In re Estate of Newalla, 1992-NMCA-084, 114 N.M. 290, 837 P.2d 1373.
Objections on file from previous appeals may be relied on. — Where the original objections to a final account and report of the administration of an estate are not included in the transcript for an appeal, but are on file with the court from previous appeals, neither the parties nor the appellate court shall be prevented from relying on those objections. In re Will of Hamilton, 1981-NMSC-120, 97 N.M. 111, 637 P.2d 542.
Effect of request for formal proceeding. — Where a distributee has requested, and the personal representative has agreed to adjudication of the distributee's share of estate assets in a formal proceeding, and neither the parties nor the district court have agreed to or ordered any change in the nature of the proceeding, procedures provided by Subsection C of 45-3-906 NMSA 1978, relating to proposals for distribution in informal proceedings, are inapplicable. Brown v. Brown, 2000-NMCA-030, 128 N.M. 825, 999 P.2d 1057.
Formal testacy proceeding takes precedence. — A will contestant's petition for a formal testacy proceeding filed pursuant to 45-3-401 NMSA 1978 and within the three-year limit of 45-3-108 NMSA 1978 took precedence over a personal representative's petition for settlement and distribution of the estate filed pursuant to this section; procedural rules requiring five days' notice to opposing parties did not apply to the contestant, and her petition should not have been quashed on grounds that she did not produce another will. Vieira v. Estate of Cantu, 1997-NMCA-042, 123 N.M. 342, 940 P.2d 190.
Jurisdictional effect of informal appointment. — The district court had jurisdiction to enter a closing order absent an order entered on a formal petition for appointment challenging the informally appointed personal representative, since the status of personal representative and the powers and duties pertaining to the appointment are fully established by informal appointment, (45-3-307 NMSA 1978) and a personal representative may petition for an order of complete settlement of an estate at any time (45-3-1001A NMSA 1978). In re Estate of Lopez, 1987-NMCA-087, 106 N.M. 157, 740 P.2d 707.
Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 31 Am. Jur. 2d Executors and Administrators §§ 1002 to 1011.
Right to probate subsequently discovered will as affected by completed prior proceedings in intestate administration, 2 A.L.R.4th 1315.
34 C.J.S. Executors and Administrators § 903.