Who is Going to Get Your Mexican Property When You Die?

Who is Going to Get Your Mexican Property When You Die?Por Liliana Elena González


I was contacted last week by an American lawyer representing one of my former client´s estate. My client bought a house in Patzcuaro, Michoacan, 3 years ago and she made her Will last year.

When a foreigner own property in Mexico, it is important to have a Mexican Will, so the process to transfer property to the heirs goes as smoothly as possible.

The steps to be taken are:

a) Get the heirs and executor recognized by a Mexican judge, through a heritage trial.
b) Hire a notario to issue the transfer deed.

The documents to start a Heritage trial are:

1. – Inventory of properties and/or possessions.
2.- Original deed
3.- Original Will
4.- Birth certificate of each heir (apostilled & translated)
5.- Death certificate (apostilled & translated if the testator died abroad)
6.- Official ID of each heir.

This is a simple procedure that it will take 4 to 6 months to get the new deed in the heirs ‘name.

However, if there is no Mexican Will, the procedure could be 2 years and up, the paperwork will probably involve trust and/or estate certificates, and/or foreigner Will and more proofs. Of course, everything apostilled and translated. The cost and fees will also be multiplied.

NOTE: In the Mexican legal system, all states and Federal District have their own civil laws. Therefore, this article applies for foreigners living in the state of Michoacan.

This article does not replace professional legal consultation in your particular case. If you need legal counsel contact me here.

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