If there is no will, the estate passes by what is called "intestate succession": the rules for who gets what if there is no will.
In your state (New Mexico), if one member of a married couple dies without a will and there are children, the surviving spouse inherits all of the deceased's "community property" (to oversimplify: anything acquired during marriage other than an inheritance or gift to only one of you) and 1/4 the "separate" property" (inheritances, gifts, and anything owned or acquired by the deceased pre-marriage), while the children share the other 3/4 of the separate property.
Rate This Answer: Not Yet Rated
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 go to AttorneyPages.com and retain an attorney to represent you.