Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

State law determines who is first in line to serve.(Business Outlook)

Byline: Ask the Probate Judge Merri Rudd For the Journal

Q: My mom died and my dad got everything as the surviving joint tenant. Then my dad died without a will. His estate needs a probate. There are nine of us children; three have died. I have been told that everyone must agree on who acts as personal representative of my dad's estate. Why is this?

A: A personal representative of an estate must be at least 18 years old, and not otherwise disqualified to serve. By law, the Probate Court has jurisdiction only to appoint the personal representative who has the highest priority to serve.

If your dad had a valid will, the person with first priority for appointment as personal representative would be the person nominated in your dad's will. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.