Mexican Law/Inheritance


We just learned my 14 yr daughter's dad was killed in 2005 while living in Mexico.  His mother died in 2003 and his dad is still alive.  Does inheritance normally pass to the oldest son when land is involved?  Is there something we need to do to make sure his inheritance from his mother is put in my daughter's name before his dad dies?  Also, my daughter is America, is there any restriction to own Mexican property as a non-citizen?  What happens to bank accounts, his car insurance pay-out (he was killed in a one car accident - his car he was driving).  His family knew about my daughter but didn't try to attempt to find her after he died and I believe they took his assets by stating he had no heirs.  My daughter is his only heir, before his siblings, according to US laws. He is on her birth certificate and has no other children.

Dear Pamela,

I assume that he died without a will. In that case, the wife and children share in the inheritance. The exact proportion can vary in the different Mexican states. If he did not have a wife and your daughter was the only child, she is the only heir.

An american can own property in Mexico, either directly or through a trust (in the case of property near the ocean or one of the borders).

Your daughter has up to 10 years to claim her inheritance so there is till time.


Lic. John Lee Ward
Córdoba, Veracruz

Mexican Law

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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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