Two weeks ago, the International Women’s Club (IWC) Vice-president for Programming, Aili K, was admitted to Star Medica for a simple hernia repair. However when the operation began, the surgeon found an undiscovered problem.
I met Aili in the late 1970s when I was a new bride and she worked as a guide at a fledgling Montessori school in Merida. We shared a lovely friendship for three years, and then she went on to have a career with the US State Department. She always dreamed of retiring in Merida, and about five years ago, she did so. Because of medical complications, she passed away last Sunday.
Yet, despite the fact that Aili was an independent and careful person, she did not have her affairs in order.
Many foreign residents in Mexico are unaware of (or refuse to think about) all the documentation their next of kin will need in the event of their illness or demise. Please don’t stop reading right now… I know it is unpleasant, but this is important.
If you are a foreigner living in Mexico, you MUST have:
• An official copy of your birth certificate, and a translation of the document made by an authorized translator
• If you are married, you must have your official marriage certificate and again, a legal translation of this document
• A valid passport and migratory document (FM or tourist card)
• If you are a home owner, the must have a readily accessible copy of the deed and bank trust
• If you rent your home, your rental contract and the receipts for your rent must be saved
• If you own a business in Mexico, the paperwork and documentation must be up to date
• Your taxes and utilities must be paid and all the receipts (for up to 5 years) must be saved
• Even if you have a last will and testament elsewhere, you need to draw up a Mexican will that has been legally filed in this country. The will must clearly state your wishes for the dispersal of all your earthly possessions in Mexico
• A “living will” that clearly states your wishes should you become unable to make sound decisions regarding your medical treatment and the option of prolonging life.
• A notarized statement indicating your burial or cremation preference
• A “power of attorney” must be in place. The person who holds this must either live in Mexico or be able to travel to Mexico on short notice, and stay until all issues are resolved
• Banking procedures must be in place that will expedite quick and seamless transfer of funds to hospitals, doctors, lawyers, funeral parlors or whoever else may require funds to carry out your wishes
• If you have employees or household help, you must make provision for the termination of their employment in the event of your demise
ALL OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DOCUMENTS MUST KEPT IN AN ACORDION FILE
A FRIEND WHO LIVES WHERE YOU DO MUST KNOW WHERE THEY ARE KEPT AND MUST ALSO HAVE THE TELEPHONE AND EMAIL CONTACT OF THE PERSON WHO WILL REPRESENT YOU IN CASE OF ILLNESS OR DEATH
If you do not know a lawyer or official translator, or do not have a reliable person to give this information to, drop me an email and I will be happy to furnish you with names and contacts.
My friend Aili did not have her affairs in place and as a result, the toil on her relatives in the USA was extreme. And this is where the International Women’s Club came to the rescue; members rallied ‘round Aili’s nephew and eventually the myriad of issues were resolved.
I am proud to be a member of the International Women’s Club of Merida. And never more so than this past week but the IWC members should not be counted on to look after anyone’s personal business. I will not go into details here about all that needed attention… but believe me, it was extensive and very challenging.
If you are a guest in Mexico, do not leave any of this to chance, please get your affairs in order TODAY