Need a Mexican Will? Take Advantage of September Discounts

If you have any property or other assets in Mexico, it’s a good idea to get a Mexican will. The good news is that you can get one done easily at any Notaría (notary’s office) and the price for the service will be up to 50% less during the month of September.

This is all part of a government campaign called Septiembre, Mes del Testamento (September, Month of the Testament). The purpose of the campaign is to educate people about the importance of having a will and to offer financial incentives to get one done.

Why You Might Want One

If you don’t have a will, your property and assets will be divided up according to Mexican law. That option may not work out well for your surviving partner or spouse because 50% of the shared property can be claimed by other relatives.

Even if you have a will in your home country, it’s still a good idea to get a Mexican will because it will save your family the time, expense and hassle of getting your foreign document recognized in Mexico.

Once you have a Mexican will, the entire probate process is much faster and can normally be handled entirely in the notary’s office without requiring involvement from the courts.

Another huge advantage of getting a Mexican will is that it will make it easier for your intended heirs to find the document because it will be logged into a national database called el Registro Nacional de Avisos de Testamento.

Where to Go

You can have a private attorney draft the document and then file it with a notaría (notary’s office), but this option is more expensive and unnecessary. You can skip the private attorney and go directly to the nearest notaría and have them do everything.

It’s important to point out that notary in Mexico is nothing like the job of the same title in the United States. In Mexico, notaries are attorneys who are tasked with, among other things, ensuring the validity of legal documents. In other words, you can trust them to get the job done.

You can check the database of the Colegio Nacional del Notariado Mexicano to find the office closest to you. Just enter your city (ciudad) or state (estado):

Let’s Wrap This up

Last year, I was kicking myself because it was almost October before I found out about Septiembre, Mes del Testamento. This year I marked it on my calendar and I’m getting the information out early so everyone will have time to take advantage of the discounts.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking for to maximize their retirement income. In 2016, they started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( sharing their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border. The blog has been viewed over two million times and the articles have been republished in numerous periodicals across Mexico.

29 Comments on "Need a Mexican Will? Take Advantage of September Discounts"

  1. Lyn McAllister | August 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm |

    I’ll be moving down to Zihua next year. Would a will already in place in the U.S. be sufficient, or should I plan on having one drawn up in Mexico?

    • It’s recommended to have one here because it will make it much easier for your heirs. The will from the U.S. is not automatically recognized in Mexico, so your heirs will have to go through the time and expense of doing that — and things can move very slowly down here.

  2. Niederegger Maria | August 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm |

    Is it happen every Year in September the Discounts?

  3. sheila schultz | August 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm |

    I’ve been reading your posts since my husband discovered your blog shortly after we moved to Bucerias mid-June. You are a very sensible man, Paul Kurtzweil, and your words on topics of interest are short and to the point for expats navigating the confusing governmental system in Mexico. Thank you. BTW, your language blog is as sensible… continue enjoying life!

  4. Thanks for the heads-up!

  5. What happens if we are in Mexico for 2 months, on vacation and die? We won’t have many things with us.

    • It shouldn’t be an issue. The Mexican will is for those who have more than just some clothes and personal effects (e.g. vehicles).

  6. ROBERT DELEON | August 27, 2017 at 7:23 pm |

    I heard about setting up a will to donate your property to your heirs. That its less paperwork. Have you heard anything about that?

  7. Very cool. Appreciate your useful money saving tips.

  8. Scott Glave | August 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm |

    I’m assuming that, if you have a fideicomiso, then a will is not necessary. Do you agree? Thanks, Scott

    • I was told by an attorney that if an heir is named in the paperwork for the property and filed with the notario, that you are covered for the property — just not the contents . However, I haven’t confirmed that information.

      • In addition, I’ve heard that even if you have a fideicomiso, where you’ve named your heirs, the process is much smoother if you have a Mexico will. While the bank is legally required to transfer property per the trust document, there can still be delays if there is not a Mexico will in place.

  9. Ethel aka Fran | August 27, 2017 at 9:17 pm |

    That is very interesting. Sounds so much better than the hassle here in the USA. Also, encouraging people to get their affairs in order with discounts makes a lot of sense. So many people put off getting their affairs in order. I had to settle my Dad’s estate and it took over a year and he had a will, but because none of us ‘kids’ were on any of his ‘real’ property, we had to go through probate and I had to hire an attorney. Fortunately I found one that charged a flat fee and not a percentage of the estate or an hourly fee. Bottom line…be prepared!

  10. We tried this one year, and we’re told the discount was only for Mexicans. Has this changed?

    • The government program does not state anywhere that it only applies to Mexican citizens and that foreign residents are excluded. If I were you, I would try another notario.

      • As a follow-up, I contacted multiple notarios at random to inquire if a foreign resident would be eligible to take advantage of the program and receive the discount. The all said yes.

        It sounds like you found a notario who was trying to take advantage of you.

  11. I know there is usually other property other than real estate but doesn’t the beneficiary clause in your trust paperwork take care of your real estate. ( Applies only to those on or near the coast)?

  12. Lyle Gregory | August 28, 2017 at 8:01 am |

    As a lawyer I would recommend also that you have a copy of your US will with you if you go to do this. It could be very important to try to avoid conflicts between the two documents, and having a copy of your US will with you will help to avoid that. Great post Paul. Love your blog.

  13. When we did this a few years ago we found that the discount was on the State filing fees not on the Notaria’s services. We had a trusted attorney draw up the will which was then forwarded to the Notaria. We then had to present in person at the Nortaria’s office along with two witnesses with their identification to sign and enter the will in the “big book”. A month or so later we were able to return to the Notaria and receive our executed copies of the will. Now we just wish that Living Wills were recognized here.

    • Thanks for sharing that Bob. According to the Colegio Nacional del Notariado Mexicano, the discount should also be on the professional fees (honorarios) charged by the notarios.

  14. Yes there are living wills in Mexico they are called Declaración unilateral voluntario

  15. Thanks for the blog Paul. We had talked about this previously and we’re glad to hear how best to do this. It’s a great precaution.

  16. I agree, and we did not go with him. Will try for one this month as there is one from the list in Puerto Morelos. Thanks again

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