I live in NM. Does a will have to specifically name an executor, or is it assumed that the first beneficiary takes on those duties?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

I live in NM. Does a will have to specifically name an executor, or is it assumed that the first beneficiary takes on those duties?

My mother just died and her most current will 2014 only
lists that her estate is to be divided equally three ways–
my brother, my sister, and myself. No details as to what the
1/3 for each means.

There is no mention of an executor, only my sister listed
first, my brother listed second, and me listed as third
beneficiary. Because my sister is listed first she is the
middle child, if that matters, is she the assumed, default

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Mexico


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.
The Will must name an executor.  Since your mother's Will did not name an executor, the probate court will appoint an executor.  The failure of the Will to appoint an executor does not mean that a particular beneficiary automatically becomes the executor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption