Real Property & Probate Proceedings in New Mexico

In general, real property is land or anything built or growing on it, including:
  • Buildings
  • Farms
  • Gas
  • Houses
  • Leases
  • Mineral
  • Ranches
  • Timber Rights
  • Water


This is a brief overview of New Mexico’s law regarding real property. Please consult with a licensed attorney experienced in Real Estate and Probate law for further assistance, individual advice, or to prepare any Deeds or other legal documents.

Probate Proceeding

Often times in New Mexico, a probate proceeding is required to transfer real property and to clear title to real estate. Real property that is titled only in the name of the decedent where there was not a proper Transfer on Death Deed (see below) recorded with the County generally cannot be transferred without the court appointment of a Personal Representative through the Probate filing.

Co-Owned Property

Property that is co-owned with the decedent and other individuals, whether it be their spouses, siblings, or business partners, and that is held as “tenants in common” rather than in “joint tenancy” or as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship,” generally also requires a probate proceeding.

The Probate Court can only be used for simple proceedings. If a question or dispute arises about the heirs of the estate, who is entitled to the property, or the value of the property, the proceeding must be filed in or transferred to the District Court.