I am serving my first elected four-year term as Probate Judge for Grant County from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2022. I ran for office because I like to help people. I have been a public servant for over 40 years. It is extremely rewarding when at the end of the day you feel you have helped someone with a problem and allowed them to be in a better place than where they were before you assisted them.
I am no stranger to County Government. I started working at the age of 20, way back on January 9, 1978 for the County Clerk’s Office. I was there for eighteen years working myself up as 9th Deputy County Clerk to serving two terms as County Clerk.
I worked diligently and learned all that I possibly could and attended all trainings I could possibly attend. After the Clerk’s Office I worked six years as executive assistant to the Grant County Road Superintendent. This job was fascinating and extremely fast pace and a whole different world to me; I loved it. The position of Executive Secretary to the Grant County Manager came open in the County Manager’s Office, so I applied. I served in that position for three years, talking about fast pace, that office was always buzzing and busy. While working in the Manager’s Office I was asked to go back and serve for a four-month duration in the County Clerk’s Offices as County Clerk. That is where I retired with twenty-seven years of service to Grant County.
In 2006 I ran for Grant County Commissioner District 1 for a four-year term. I became the first woman to be elected Commissioner in Grant County. During this period, I became the County’s Representative on the New Mexico Association of Counties Board of Directors. While in this position I got elected as President to the NMAC Board of Directors.
My passion, as you can see, is to serve. I truly believe “In order to lead you must learn to serve first.” Thank you, Grant County, for allowing me to work for you. I feel blessed and honored.
Purpose of the Probate Court – What We Do
Probate is the judicial process for transferring the property of a person who has died (called a decedent). The property is transferred according to either (1) the decedent’s Will, (Testate) or (2) if the decedent died without a Will, (Intestate), 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. Personal representatives pass the deceased person’s estate property; real and personal, to the rightful recipients. Rightful recipients could include heirs, devisees named in a valid and current will or creditors
Jurisdiction of the Probate Court – How We Serve You
State law limits the Probate Courts to:
- Admitting original Wills to informal probate
- Appointing personal representatives informally (without a hearing)
- Appointing Special Administrators for estates
- Performing marriages within their county.
Visit the Grant County Probate Court if:
- Decedent resided in Grant County at the time of death (i.e. Grant County was the permanent place of decedent’s abode/residence), or
- Decedent resided outside of New Mexico but owned property in Grant County
- In addition to handling informal probate cases, the Probate Court provides general information on the probate process
Probate Courts cannot help with:
- Formal probates, determinations of heirship, contested cases, dispute over validity of a will, removal of a personal representative
- Trust matters cannot be heard by the Probate Court; these must be filed in District Court
Must You File a Probate?
Not all estates require a probate or a personal representative. Filing a probate depends on how the decedent’s property was titled at the time of death. When a probate is necessary, the person seeking appointment as Personal Representative applies to the Probate Court (or District Court) to obtain authority to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
New Mexico State Law does not allow a probate to be filed during the first 120 hours (5 days) following the death. Normally, a probate must be filed within three years following the decedent’s death.
The docket fee to file for informal probate in the Probate Court is $30.00. The fee to record a death certificate is $25.00. The fee to obtain certified copies of any document is $2.00. The fees are paid to the Grant County Clerk with cash, check, money orders or cashier checks only. Checks are made payable to the Grant County Clerk.
The Grant County Probate Judge is pleased to offer wedding officiating free of charge to the public of Grant County. Please contact the Probate Judge with advance notice, if possible, to officiate wedding ceremony.
What the Probate Judge and Staff Cannot Do
Neither the Probate Judge nor their staff can provide legal advice of any kind. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney. The Judge or their staff cannot fill out the forms for you or assist you in filling out the forms; that includes preparation of deeds for any real property that requires transfer. Neither the Probate Judge nor their staff can recommend an attorney to you.
To obtain the forms necessary to file a probate with the Grant County Probate Court, you may purchase a Probate packet (Intestate/Without a will) at the Grant County Clerk’s Office for $5.00 – or you may download forms at www.nm.courts.gov by clicking HERE and select “Probate Courts”.
New Mexico District Court offer a Self-Help Guide relating to Probate and can be found by clicking HERE
Mary Ann C. Sedillo
Grant County Administration Building
1400 Highway 180 East
Silver City, NM 88061
PO Box 898
Silver City, NM 88062-0898