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Mexican Law/Mexican Inheritance


QUESTION: My husband's deceased father (mexican) was named in his father's will, with 4 siblings. There are 2 pieces of property the remaining siblings are planning to sell. The siblings convinced my mother-in-law to sign away her rights to her husband's inheritance, but we are told those rights now fall to my husband. The siblings are telling him he must sign over his rights to them, and that there is not much money to be had from the sale anyway. We did research and found the property is significant in value (perhaps 100K to 300K in value). My husband said he just wants to split the profit evenly. They say he can not do that without travelling to Mexico, lawyering up, and providing copies of birth certificates, marriage license, and other documents I don't feel comfortable providing them with these items. They have recently stepped up the pressure for him to sign away his rights to a claim. What is the law? What happens if he does nothing? Can he file a claim from within the U.S. without having to travel to Mexico to ensure he gets a split of the estate? How can he protect his interest?

ANSWER: Dear Ana,

For your husband to protect his interests, he either has to travel to Mexico or hire someone in Mexico (preferably a lawyer) to investigate the situation and see what is really going on.

If the brothers are acting in good faith and you trust them, your husband only needs to send a power of attorney (Poder Notarial). The other necessary document (his birth certificate) can be gotten in Mexico without his intervention. There is no need for his marriage certificate.

Hope this helps...

Lic. John Lee Ward
Córdoba, Veracruz

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for the quick reply.

Just to clarify:

My husband is a U.S. citizen, born in the U.S., so there is no need for a copy of his birth certificate, yes?

We are averse to traveling to Mexico. Can my husband provide a claim, in writing, of his request to have the assets split evenly, or do we just go on trust that the executor (one of the uncles)will do so? Can we request copies of the deeds of sale so we know how much they receive for these properties?

Finally, can you suggest a good resource to locate a trustworthy Mexican lawyer to represent him?

Dear Ana,

There is no way your husband can participate in this process through the mails. You need to send a power of attorney to someone to represent your interests. Where in Mexico is all this taking place?

You can contact me directly at:



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John Lee Ward


I can respond to any question related to Mexican Law and common business practices in Mexico. I can also compare and contrast between the American and Mexican legal systems.


Licenciatura en Derecho from the Universidad del Golfo en Cordoba, Veracruz. (Cedula Profesional No. 5713238) Maestria en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon en Veracruz, Veracruz. (Cedula Professional No. 6358321) Currently a Candidate for a Doctorado en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon. 5 years of litigation experience in Mexico.

Bachelors in Electronic Engineering, California Polytechnic State Univ. Juris Doctor, Concord University in Los Angeles Licenciatura en Derecho, Universidad del Golfo, Mexico Maestria en Derecho, Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico Doctorado en Derecho (In Progress), Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico

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