BY HARRY SCHIKORA
As a Realtor and licensed Real Estate Professional, I often explain how a Fideocomiso trust agreement works and how it protects the owner by pre-designating the beneficiaries in the event of your demise. There are misconceptions about how the Fideocomiso covers the contents or any chattel that is not real estate related. For example, here is what I am dealing with now. I had a friend who bought a condo and was waiting for the title to transfer in a Fideocomiso. I explained how it did not cover personal items like all of the motorcycles, tools and equipment he used in his off-road adventures, stored in the garage. I explained how he needed extra protection with a will. He agreed and got a will prepared and executed. Unexpectedly, he died after the will was produced and prior to the title transferring on the condo. This could have resulted in a nightmare situation without the will.
September is “Mes de Testamento” and public notaries are lowering their fees throughout the month to promote this essential service. Without a will, you put your assets and those of your potential heirs at risk. The process would be subject to court adjudication in accordance with the existing laws on the matter for their heirs to receive the assets. This is done in a succession hearing or intestate trial in a family court where anyone can claim rights to the assets. A succession hearing is expensive and time-consuming and other people may appear and claim the assets. (A gardener might claim that the property owner gave them the Cadillac Escalade in the garage) Anyone can create a will that is not prohibited by law or the Federal Civil Code. Examples of this might be someone under the age of 16 years (14 in some states) or not having sound judgment or mental capacity.
This is the time to protect your life’s work and assets for your family and heirs by creating a Testament or Will. Contact a local Notario for more information and save yourself some money by acting this month. You won’t regret it unless you don’t.
Harry Schikora, President, AMPI Los Cabos. Estate Resolution Specialist.