Under a Direct deed, if a spouse dies in Mexico, property is transferred to the surviving spouse. There is a transfer fee/tax that costs 2% on half of the value of the property (50% of the appraised value of the property – normally much lower than the actual value).
If both the husband and wife die, the property transfers to the children, if named as beneficiaries on the title. The cost for transfer in this case would be 2% of the total appraised value.
If there are no beneficiaries, the property goes to the estate and is dealt with from instructions on the Will. If there is no Will, the property goes to the estate and is divided among the heirs in accordance with Mexican law.
It is advisable (although not mandatory) to have a Mexican Will to facilitate this process. In Lake Chapala we have excellent lawyers and Notarios who can facilitate this process for you. It is advisable to have a Will in Mexico for your Mexican assets and a Will north of the border to cover your back home assets. It would be necessary on both Wills, to put a clause saying each Will does not revoke all prior Wills. This way each Will is valid for the assets in the Country the Will was signed. The Notario here can help you with the wording.
With a Bank Trust, the process is simpler. Once the Bank has received the Death Certificate, the beneficiary on the trust goes to “First Place” and becomes the primary beneficiary. There are no additional costs incurred in this process.