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Do I need a Mexican will?

For people that are going to be in Mexico part of the year or all of the year, those that are buying property or doing any business in Mexico, or those bringing a vehicle into the country, really anyone living in Mexico (including Mexicans), it is indispensable to have a will in Mexico.
You can either have a will drawn up by a Mexican lawyer or notary and then have it notarized by the notary and registered with the public registry (September is the month of wills and testaments typically and there is often a discount) or you can have your will from home officially translated and then notarized in Mexico.

For people buying homes with a trust, the trust will have a beneficiary but that does not cover the other potential issues.

For people with a business, it is important to, aside from the will, have a succession agreement with the business partner(s) to cover what would happen to the business in the event of the death of one or more of the partners.

Also keep in mind the fact that the law in Mexico does not recognize common-law partners as next of kin as easily as would be the case in other countries. It is important to have such contingencies covered in the will and testament or the living will.

Topics to consider for wills:

  • Vehicles and other registrable and insurable items such as boats, art, jewelry, furniture of value, etc.
  • Beneficiaries and executors
  • Burial or cremation wishes and location, including repatriation of the body if it is to be moved out of country
  • Whether you would allow organ donation (to be an organ donor you must also register at the organ donor registry), have your body used for science or whether you would wish for an autopsy to be performed under certain circumstances (the Medical Examiner can override these wishes and perform the autopsy in any case)
  • What happens to minor dependents or adult dependents

In short, if unsure, consult a legal expert to ensure that your affairs are in order. See our section about living wills that addresses matters such as do not resuscitate orders, medical proxies and more.

Will and testament documents should be written by a lawyer or notary public, should be bilingual to be understood by all parties concerned and should then be duly notarized in order to be considered enforceable by law, and, if recommended by the notary, registered in the public registry.

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