If you have any assets in Mexico (e.g. personal property, bank accounts, vehicles, and real estate not in a fideicomiso), 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 months of September and October.
This is all part of a government campaign designed 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 correctly.
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):
The price will vary depending on where you are in the country.
Here are the discounted prices (in pesos) obtained from the Colegio Nacional del Notariado Mexicano:
Some jurisdictions, like Mexico City, offer additional discounts.
Let’s Wrap This Up
When my wife and I moved to Mexico, getting a Mexican will wasn’t one of the things on our to-do-list; however, that all changed when we started talking to expats whose spouse or significant other died in Mexico.
The ones who had a Mexican will in place, said they were glad they did, and the ones who didn’t, said they wished they had. The consensus among them was that the document makes things much easier for the people who are left behind.
We decided to heed their advice, and last September, Linda and I both got them done.