In New Mexico is there a statute of limitations to appeal or contest a will ? I have a situation where the surviving child of a beneficiary has gotten greedy and is now wanting the distribution of assets revisited some two years after the death and distribution of assets. The will was never probated as thare was no real property involved and liquid assets were less than $70,000.00
State/Country relating to question: New Mexico
this is my first attempt to gather information . As executuo I distributed funds exactly as the will dictated.
Thanks for your question and good evening.Here is the law on the subject for you.5-3-108. 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 [this chapter] that relate to the date of death.
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I was the executor of the estate. Mother and I had a joint checking and the funds were distributed from this account. Does that make a difference wiht your comment about survivorship?
If the funds here had a right of survivorship then they passed directly to you.Since you were able to access them then it is likely there was nothing to probate.So while he still has time here if he wanted to try and file the will for probate in court or something else legally.You would argue they were your funds if they were in a joint account with right of survivorship and you distributed them voluntarily to the heirs in the will.It is very possible here that nothing ever gets filed and the outcome even if the will is probated may not be any different.You need not do anything until there is something filed in probate court.And that may never happen.All you can do is wait and see.Time here is on your side.I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this.You may quietly want to check with the bank to see if this was indeed a joint account with right of survivorship in which case the funds passed to you in which case there was no need to probate the will if this was the only asset.RayAnswers41090.9833353009
Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
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