Legal Memorandum: Death of Protected Person or Ward in NM

Issue: Under New Mexico law, is the term of a conservatorship or guardianship terminated on the death of the ward or protected person?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Death of the protected person; Conservatorship or guardianship
Jurisdiction: New Mexico
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: N.M.S.A. § 45-5-306
Date: 09/01/2014

A conservatorship or guardianship terminates upon the death of the ward or protected person.  See N.M.S.A. § 45-5-306 (the authority and responsibility of a guardian for an incapacitated person terminates upon death of the protected person); see generally, CJS, Mental Health, §§ 167, 193 (guardianship or conservatorship generally terminate upon death of protected person).  After a person under conservatorship dies, the conservator’s alleged interest eases.  See, e.g., Whitley v. River’s Bend Health Care, 916 N.E.2d 515, 520-21 (Ohio Ct. App. 2009) (because death of the ward terminates the guardianship, it removes all power of the guardian to act on behalf of the ward).


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