Mérida, Yucatán — Living wills have been legal in Yucatán for nearly two years, but many people are unaware of them.
Expats in Yucatán may have had living wills back home, informing caregivers their wishes if they are being kept alive through artificial means. But that was a foreign concept here, and even to many legal professionals, still is.
And only a Yucatecan will is of any use in Yucatán.
“We used to recommend that clients state their desires in a handwritten document and appoint a proxy, through a power of attorney, who would carry out the person’s wishes,” said Francisco Gutierrez, a local attorney, thinking back to before the 2016 law was passed.
But without legal backing, that letter wouldn’t hold water if hostile relatives swept in, he added.
“The only problem is that nobody gave the law proper publicity and most people don’t know it exists; in fact, many notaries still don’t know it exists or how to make a living will. Mainly because it is not in our culture, but also for religious reasons,” explains Gutierrez, who with Alfonso Barrera run Easy Legal Mexico.
To get a a living will, bring the following to a notary public:
- Your name and general information.
- The name of whoever who will be the executor and their general information.
- The name of whoever is prohibited from making any decisions regarding your health or life.
- A detailed description of your desires in health care, palliative care, artificial life support, etc. It can be as general or as detailed as you want.
The document is signed in front of the notary public in the presence of two witnesses.