Purpose of the Court

Probate is the judicial process for transferring property of a person who has died (called a decedent). The property is transferred according to either (1) the decedent’s will, or (2) if the decedent died without a will, according to New Mexico’s laws of intestate succession. The Probate Court appoints legally qualified persons, called personal representatives, to manage and settle the decedent’s business affairs.

Jurisdiction of the Court

State law limits the jurisdiction of the Probate Courts to:

  • Admitting wills to informal probate
  • Appointing personal representatives informally (without a hearing)
  • Appointing special administrators for estates

Formal probates, determinations of heirs, contested cases and trust matters cannot be heard by the Probate Court, but instead must be filed in the District Court.


The docket fee to file for informal probate in the Probate Court is $30.00. The cost of a Probate Forms Packet is $5.00. The cost per certified copy of Letters of Administration or Letters of Testamentary is $1.50.  


Judge Lansford does not perform marriage ceremonies.