There are over one million Americans living in Mexico and many more who have assets there such as property and/or bank accounts. Unfortunately, sometimes those people die and that creates a challenge for their heirs to locate all of their assets south of the border.
In the case of properties, that usually isn’t a problem because people share that information with their loved ones. “Hey, I have an awesome condo in Playa del Carmen. Come down and visit me sometime.”
But, the same thing can’t be said about banking information. You’ll probably never hear one of your relatives say, “Hey, I have an awesome checking account at Santander Bank, Account # 88392739201. Keep that in mind if I ever drop dead.”
That’s where this article comes in. I’m going to show you how to locate those accounts.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you’re going to conduct the research yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you.
The first step is to plan a trip to Mexico to visit a branch office of a government entity called La Comisión Nacional para la Protección y Defensa de los Usuarios de Servicios Financieros or CONDUSEF for short.
Once there, you’ll need to present the following documentation:
1) your passport or other official identification, and
2) a copy of the death certificate (no older than five years from the date of the request)
CONDUSEF will handle the rest. The process can take up to 60 days to complete and you can request to be notified by email. It really couldn’t be easier.
Let’s Wrap This Up
This article only deals with how to locate the bank accounts, not how to prove that you are the rightful beneficiary. If you’re not specifically listed as a beneficiary on the account, that part can get a bit complicated, especially if your claim is based on a foreign will.
So, if you do happen to stumble across a few Mexican bank accounts belonging to your deceased grandparents, I recommend hiring an attorney to help you claim your rightful inheritance.