Isleta Tribal Probate Process
What is Probate?
A probate case begins when a petition is filed to “probate the estate” of the decedent (person who died). In some cases the decedent leaves a will (testate) and in others the decedent dies without a will (intestate). Probate is the process for distributing the property of a decedent to the rightful heirs in intestate matters or the process for determining whether a will was validly executed in testate matters.
The probate process does not have to be lengthy but takes as long as necessary for the Administrator to complete the required duties. An initial hearing is scheduled within thirty (30) days of filing the petition. At the first hearing the judge appoints an Administrator or determines who is named in the will to serve as Administrator or Executor. The judge also gives the Administrator a probate packet and explains the forms that must be completed. The second hearing is scheduled about sixty (60) days later to review the status of the probate matter. Review hearings are scheduled every thirty (30) days until all requirements are met. The process may take longer in intestate cases if parties cannot agree on distribution of the property or in testate cases if a party contests the validity of the will. The Court issues a final order when the Administrator’s duties are complete, all documents have been submitted and decedent’s property is distributed.