»This legal note is limited to the matters set forth herein and in a broad perspective. We offer a streamlined and inexpensive Mexican Last Will service, don't hesitate to check it out.
In Mexican Law, wills are mostly regulated by state laws. Each state recognizes different type of wills, being the most common one (and most secure) the will given in front of a Notary.
When it comes to foreigners and foreign wills, most states refer to the Federal Civil Code, which in summary states that foreign wills can only be valid in Mexico if i) there is correspondence by the other country (if the other country recognizes Mexican wills) and ii) if the foreign will has the same level of formality than the Mexican standard.
The first requisite is usually granted, as most countries recognize foreign wills in some degree. But the second requisite creates more problems, as wills in Mexico usually have to be certified by an authority to be valid. In Mexico, certification of a will is usually given by the Notary who formalized the will in his office, but it can also be certified by the Registrar from the local Public Registry of Property and in few cases, by Port Authorities (for wills done on the sea).
In the past we’ve seen foreign wills (specially from United States) which are not certified by any authority, but only signed by lawyers (which in Mexico are private entities). That type of formality would most likely make such foreign will invalid for Mexico, even if the certification is given at a later date (formalization of wills in Mexico happens usually at the same time of the creation of the will or soon afterwards).
An invalid foreign will for Mexico would mean for Mexican courts that the deceased person has no will for his assets located in Mexico. In cases like this, relatives would inherit the property by an “intestamentary procedure”.
This note is not to explain such procedure or which relatives would get the inheritance, but needless to say, it’s a procedure that has less control than a simple will where you can indicate who gets what.
Foreigners who want to prevent this situation can simply fix it by creating a Mexican will which is exclusive for the assets located in Mexico. Such will would only then be valid in Mexico and the foreign will would still be valid in the other country.
A Mexican will in Mexico can be created in different forms. We recommend notaries, as they are the safest way to record and protect your wishes upon your death. Notaries are forced to record the wills on the local and federal Public Registries, so they can be traced in the future by any testament civil procedure.
We offer a very simple and streamlined service for you to obtain a Mexican Last Will and secure your wishes for your assets in Mexico upon your death, don’t hesitate to check it out in our services section.