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  1. Please feel free to comment or point out errors or suggest comments or oversights How to Die in Mexico While many focus on coming to Mexico to live a relaxed lifestyle, nothing lasts forever and old age and bad fortune can befall us all one day. As Benjamin Franklin said the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. The reality is that the narcos won't get you (loose animals in the road at night are a bigger danger) and the vast majority of the deaths I see are from illness and a few auto accidents. Planning ahead will allow your heirs, whether family, friends or charities to have fewer hassles when administering your estate. Planning ahead means having a will as well as beneficiary clauses for your assets wherever possible and know who will handle things when you are gone as well as have your cremation prepaid and have a good relationship with a doctor who will be able to come and issue the death certificate. Here in Jalisco for real estate people can put a beneficiary clause to avoid probate and make the property transfer easier, the only restrictions are that you can only name as beneficiaries your spouse or parents, grandparents or children and grandchildren. You will have to prove this relationship when you want to change the deed by providing marriage or birth certificates along with apostilles or legalizations depending on where the certificates are from. Other states do not have provisions for beneficiary clauses in property deeds so you will need to leave a will. Most banks allow you to leave your account to beneficiaries if you die. It is a good practice when designating beneficiaries to name replacements as things happen and you may live a long life, longer than the first person you named as beneficiary. A will serves to dispose of your assets, both assets you have now and others you may later acquire. Also an important part of having a will is the naming of an executor. Many people put off making their will as they say they have beneficiary clauses or have few assets but an important part of a will is the executor who will fight for you when you are gone, as powers of attorney expire upon your death and the will then kicks in. If someone steals your property or embezzles your funds or if your death was related to an auto or other accident, the executor of your estate will be the legal representative to pursue your case with the insurance companies and in the courts. While naming your children as executors may make you feel comfortable, do they speak Spanish and will they be able to travel down to Mexico to properly take care of your affairs if needed and if there is a prolonged legal matter? A Mexican will, to dispose of property that has no beneficiary clause, if done through a Notary Public is registered in the national will registry so nobody can change it after the fact. A few US and Canadian attorneys living in Mexico offer to make wills but they are not registered and suspiciously in many cases the heirs never find the wills and later find out that friends and families of the attorneys now have the deceased's property. A will made in Mexico in front of a Mexican notary is valid in Mexico as well as in other countries. The only requirement may be an apostille and translation although we work with notaries who do dual column wills in both English and Spanish so that way all involved know exactly what each part of the will says. You may choose that your will is only valid in Mexico or worldwide. Generally speaking it is best to have a will in each country where you have property to avoid having to validate a foreign will and it is also better when having to transfer real estate. When naming people as beneficiaries, heirs, leaving them bequeaths or other items or assets, please be sure and check their full legal name to avoid problems when they come to receive the asset. Mexico is very strict with names and Billy Smith is not the same person as Billy James Smith. In wills and property deeds you can place name variations to clarify that a person is one in the same such as Ana Valeria Salas also known as her married name of Ana Valeria Mac Gregor. Also if you wish to leave property to a charity or legal entity, it is best to ask them for their corporate documents to see their exact legal name. Many people know entities by their nicknames or names in English but are ignorant of their true legal registered names in Spanish. Be sure to specify which office or branch will receive the money, merely naming the Red Cross may cause problems as there is the national Red Cross, Mexican Red Cross, Jalisco State Red Cross and one office in Chapala and another in Ajijic. Being specific will avoid disputes later on. After having a will you need to have a personal doctor. This will prevent your being taken to the morgue for an autopsy if you are found dead alone unless foul play is suspected then you will want to call the police. Your doctor can come to where you are found and see if you died from natural causes, avoiding having to make others fill out forms to claim your body. Your doctor should also know your full legal name (best to give him a copy of your birth certificate and passport) as well as your parents names and spouse´s name. This will ensure that there are no errors on the death certificate which are harder to change after the fact and which could cause problems or delays in the probate process. Your doctor will need to do something with your cadaver so best to pay a prepaid cremation plan with one of the funeral homes so that way no person or authority is storing your body until someone comes to claim it and pay the fees to take it to the funeral home. We have seen cases where the family or friends went on vacation and the body went unclaimed for weeks and had to be taken out of refrigeration. A prepaid plan where family, friends and neighbors know about it will make sure the doctor knows where to have the body sent and will not have to pass the collection plate around in order to pay for it. The funeral home will usually coordinate with the doctor, your home country´s consulate and the civil registry for the death certificates and the report of citizen death abroad. As soon as possible after the death the legal representative / executor / family needs to be notified in order to secure the valuables and important papers of the person. Police, "friends", neighbors and others many times feel it is their right to steal property of the deceased or that it is not unethical. Locks should be changed immediately and all property photographed and inventoried and nobody should be left unattended inside the property. It is amazing how many people abscond with property saying oh Joe told me if he dies to take all his jewelry and sell it. Getting it back is harder and if they bring items back, usually things are missing. Make sure nobody is left alone in the home and that it is properly secured and if police or others need to enter the home that it is on a strictly necessary basis and at no times should anybody be left alone in the home. To recap to die properly in Mexico you need to do the following: Prepare: 1) Make sure you have beneficiary clauses on your bank accounts and home (if your legislation permits) 2) Have a properly done will for each country where you have assets naming substitute heirs and executors. 3) Have a family doctor who knows you 4) Have a prepaid arrangement with a funeral home. 5) Have recently issued and apostilled / legalized copies of your birth / marriage certificates / adoption papers as well as those of any biological children who will receive property. 6) Have your executor / family / representative know where a copy of your will and other legal papers are as well as let those close to you know who these people are to notify them immediately. Let them know what you want done with your body or ashes. 7) Register that you are living abroad with your home country´s local consulate so they will have your emergency contact information. Upon your death: 1) Have somebody immediately notify your executor / family / representative / family doctor 2) Have your executor / family / representative notify your attorney and home country consulate 3) Have your executor / family / representative secure your property and assets and bar entry to everyone (except police and MP) to avoid theft of items or claims of possessory / squatters rights. 4) Have your executor / family / representative obtain copies of the death certificate, ashes, certificate of cremation and consular report of death abroad (first 20 copies are free so always request the 20). 5) Have your executor present copies of the death certificate to all banks with a request to freeze all accounts to avoid embezzlement and use of ATM cards, credit cards and checks tied to the accounts. 6) Prepare any probate filings and if necessary ask for a provisional designation of executor to fight legal battles in the courts.
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  2. Went looking for aquatic plants this morning. Guy next to Telmex, poor quality and not very helpful. Nursery at the intersection of Libremiento and Carretera, doesn't carry them anymore. Nursery behind SuperLake, doesn't carry them. Tried some Lirio from the lake, must have been sprayed with something because it killed the fish even though the literature on ponds says it is a good pond plant. I need plants that are good at holding down algae and I need a shop that has decent ones and knows how to apply them. I have good water lilies, looking for other plants that fish like and that suppress algae. Suggestions? Any of you who are expert at ponds, would really appreciate your help here. Thanks and Feliz Año Nuevo!
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  3. http://www.chapalalaw.com/immigration-2/ VISA REQUIREMENTS AT MEXICAN CONSULATES OUTSIDE MEXICO: To qualify for the temporary visa they must show a monthly income of 300 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 24,012 pesos or $1,158 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 6 months bank statements. People who have liquid assets may qualify showing that they have maintained an average balance of 5,000 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 400,200 pesos or $19,305 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 12 months bank statements. To qualify for the permanent visa they must show a monthly income of 500 times the minimum wage (for 2016 it is 80.04 pesos) or 40,020 pesos or $2,117 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 6 months bank statements. People who have liquid assets may qualify showing that they have maintained an average balance of 20,000 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 1,600,800 pesos or $77,221 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 12 months bank statements. It has been reported to us that in the past there was no minimum age limit on people applying for permanent visas but now many have reported that consulates are asking to see pension or retirement income in order to apply for the permanent visa or they are not giving them to people who are under 50 or 60 years old. Shop around as consulates have different internal guidelines and if you are in this situation it pays to make some calls. You can apply for visas for your spouse (gay couples included) and children at the consulate at the same time or we can do it when you are here in Mexico once the primary applicant has their visa. Remember that in order to do this we will need birth / marriage certificates and apostilles (legalized copies for those from Canada or non Hague Convention countries). Please be advised that the consulates might have their own special rules. Processing time varies from a few hours to a few days on average. We can consult with you prior to your trip to the consulate and then prepare you for finishing the process here in Mexico as well as advise you how to properly fill out the FMM form upon arrival so that there will be no processing delays. Clients have reported that the consulates in Laredo, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada are some of the easier ones to deal with as Las Vegas only requires US$1,000 per month to get temporary. While the law says you must give 6 or 12 months bank statements, many consulates only ask for 3 to 6 months. Laredo requires an appointment be made online prior to going, we can help you make your appointment and go over documentation requirements so you do not have to make two trips. VISA REQUIREMENTS AT THE NATIONAL IMMIGRATION INSTITUTE INSIDE MEXICO: To qualify for the temporary visa they must show a monthly income of 400 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 32,016 pesos or $1,544 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 6 months bank statements. People who have liquid assets may qualify showing that they have maintained an average balance of 20,000 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 1,402,000 pesos or $95,374 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 12 months bank statements. To qualify for the permanent visa they must show a monthly income of 500 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 40,020 pesos or $1,931 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 6 months bank statements. People who have liquid assets may qualify showing that they have maintained an average balance of 25,000 times the minimum wage (for 2017 it is 80.04 pesos) or 2,001,000 pesos or $96,526 US dollars using an exchange rate of 20.73 to 1 (using December 28, 2016 exchange rate). This must be documented with 12 months bank statements. Immigration has been applying a rule the past few years that in order to change from temporary to a permanent visa that you must show that you receive a pension or retirement income, even $1.00. This has effectively stopped many people from “jumping ahead” if they only have savings and do not receive any pension or retirement income, in these cases people must complete all 4 years as a temporary before going to permanent if for only financial reasons (not family related). You can apply for visas for your spouse (gay couples included) and children at the consulate at the same time or we can do it when you are here in Mexico once the primary applicant has their visa. Remember that in order to do this we will need birth / marriage certificates and apostilles (legalized copies for those from Canada or non Hague Convention countries). *2016 Note – Immigration has changed their position during the past year and now will deny renewals for temporary visas for people who entered Mexico with permission to work for a company and then change to be self employed. They are alleging that the same entry conditions do not exist. We feel this is a violation of the 5th Article of the Mexican Constitution as well as Human Rights so please plan accordingly if you are inside Mexico and wish to switch jobs. People who find themselves within Mexico and due to health reasons cannot travel can get humanitarian visas if a doctor from a government clinic prepares a letter describing their situation and that they are unable to travel. Old age, forgetting to return, or having a junker car that will not make it to the border are not valid reasons. Please be advised that the consulates might have their own special rules. People have reported that the Mexican Consulates in Laredo, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada are very lenient and have approved people for temporary visas with income as little as $1,000.00USD per month. Processing time varies from a few hours to a few days on average. We can consult with you prior to your trip to the consulate and then prepare you for finishing the process here in Mexico as well as advise you how to properly fill out the FMM form upon arrival so that there will be no processing delays. The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara would like to inform the U.S. citizen community that American citizens who need to renew or add pages to their passports, do notarials or report a lost/stolen passport can meet with American Consulate staff to submit applications or to notarize documents during the staff’s monthly visit to the Lake Chapala Society and the American Legion Post 7. While the visits often fall on the first or second Wednesday of every month, not all do. The new dates for consular visits for the 2017 year are: January 11, February 01, March 01, April 5, May 17, June 7, July 12, August 2, September 13, October 4, November 8, and December 6. We can also turn in your passport renewals to the US Consulate in Guadalajara if you are unable to go due to age or health reasons. They can be picked up afterwards during the consulate’s monthly visits or sent by Fedex. The new times for consular services provided at the American Legion in Chapala will be from 9:30 am to 10:30 a.m., and at The Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Payments for Consular Services offered in the Lake Chapala area are done by bank check from Banamex in Chapala, Avenida Madero #222, made out to “United States Disbursing Officer”, no other forms of payment are accepted. If you go to the United State Consulate in Guadalajara then you may pay by credit card or cash in pesos or US Dollars.
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  4. You do not need to add oxigen if you have a good water feature.and run it most of the time.and Gold fish do not need the oxigen like the koi do.. There waas a place selling water plants past Ssan Juan Evangelista then past San Miguel? the village where they do molcajete then take a right at the intersection of the road that goes to Tlajamulco , it is on the right if it still exist. I have not been there for years.
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  5. Can I ask the negative commentaries to just not comment or participate in an intelligent conversation? thank you. There have been several other objects in the sky around midnight . One in particular is a large object that hovers, revolves and has multiple sets of lights. I thought at first it was a military helicopter but then there were two "arms" that extended out with bright lights . At first I just thought it was a drone but it was too large. We both watched it for over an hour last week two nights in a row. I've observed civilian and military aircraft for many decades and this was different. We live Mountainside off of Revolution and did not see the coloured lights. Will have to pay more attention.
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  6. I'm pretty sure the OP didn't ask anyone to become a believer. This is what is wrong with the world, IMO, too much judgement. If such a group exists, I'm interested. Call it intellectual curiosity.
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