The Gringo Guide to México - Estate Planning / Murry E. Page

How will my estate and loved ones be affected if I die in México?

It is a simple question, but with complex answers. Taking the time to consider your present circumstances and plan for your passing in México will ensure that your loved ones will not be left dealing with bewildering legal matters, and that your assets and other interests are dealt with according to your wishes.

This Guide offers key information and a road map that will help you as a foreign national living in México to plan your affairs and put your house in good order so that your wishes have legal force upon your death.

México’s legal system is markedly different from the United States, Canada, and many European countries. Therefore, it is important for foreigners living in México to acquaint themselves with local laws and customs, and to prepare accordingly.
This Guide will help you confront a number of essential matters which, in turn, will help you plan your estate in México. For example:

•Do you need a Mexican will, even if you have one that was prepared in another country?
•What other documents should you consider preparing and signing?
•What will happen to any real estate or other property you may have in México?
•Have you considered appointing another person to act on your behalf (an Attorney-in-Fact), and what appointment options are available to you?
•How may your legal residence status affect your estate when you die?
•What is the role of your country’s consulate?
•How will your next-of-kin be notified upon your passing?

These are just some of the questions this Guide addresses and which will serve as a basis for important conversations with your attorneys and local Notary Public.

The intent of this Guide is to stimulate action to put your affairs in order. It will help you to consider how existing intentions you have legalized abroad may be affected by living in México, and what steps you may have to consider to ensure that your wishes are legally enforceable under Mexican law.

You will find this Guide is filled with helpful practical advice, check-lists, and sample relevant forms—like a sample directive to physicians, letter of instructions regarding your assets, and an organ donation form—to help you in this process.
A remarkable number of foreigners living in México have never considered the impact on their loved ones and their estate if they die in México, and, for those that have, many have applied the very-Mexican manaña principle to addressing the matter.
There is no better time to start planning for the inevitable than right now, and by taking action today, your loved ones will be grateful and your interests will be better served if you do so.

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