By Ángel Marín Díaz
Deborah from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Hi Ángel. I understand the medical directives here in Mexico are very simple and are only one form with nothing written personally by the individual. Is this true?
Hello, Deborah. This can be the case, depending on whether you allow it to be, as well as depending on the experience of the person who prepares your medical directive, called a voluntad anticipada in Mexico. A medical directive is a legislated document here in Guanajuato and as such must be written under specific legal guidelines, and there exists a specific protocol for the document to be legal.
When a medical directive is created properly, it will cover a wide spectrum of medical topics, including, but not limited to, types of acceptable treatment, medications, declination of certain treatments, the use of feeding machines, ventilators, intubation, or the use of a variety of artificial life support systems.
The advance medical directive can and should be a well-drafted, extensive document that specifically spells out the individual’s treatment preferences, specifies who will oversee these directions for treatment (medical advocate), and names your personal physician to oversee treatment protocols.
When interviewing attorneys or notarios, make sure they have experience in estate and medical planning, that you can understand them, and that the process is explained. Also, always make sure that your documents are notarized on federal folios, including the appropriate federal holograms, and that the directives are registered at the municipal, state, and federal levels to ensure that your paperwork becomes included in the National Database in case of catastrophe while in another area of Mexico.
Ricardo from Boulder, Colorado
I own a home here in San Miguel de Allende, and I have my wife listed as the beneficiary to the house within the body of the deed. That’s enough, right? I don’t need a Mexican will, do I?
Hi, Ricardo. I want to be very specific here and say you do need a will in Mexico if you own Mexican property. In a perfect world, the direction given in the deed to leave your home to your wife would be sufficient. However, were you both to pass in an accident, the home would be given to the state of Guanajuato due to the lack of a will. In recent years, we have seen more initiative for the government to seek ownership of properties in this area, especially those of high value. If there is no direct map—like a will—of what is to be done with your real property, there exists at least the risk that your real property could be absorbed by the Mexican government and given to the University of Guanajuato.
Thank you all for your questions this week. For more specific information on wills, advance directives, estate planning, durable or other types of powers of attorney, asset protection, as well as all notarial services, please contact the author:
Ángel Marín Díaz at firstname.lastname@example.org, 415 121 9005.