Off topic: Validity of a will from Mexico in US
Thread poster: Marsha Way

Marsha Way  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 18, 2010

Hello everyone,
I am in need of assistance, especially those of you in the legal field.
I have been asked to translate wills that were drawn up in Mexico; one by a US citizen and one by a Spanish citizen.
My commission as a sworn translator is acceptable in the US, so there is no problem with that. The question my clients have is if the will itself will be valid in the US for properties I suppose they have in the States.
Can anyone help me answer this question, if the will drawn up in Mexico with its sworn translation to English will be valid in the US?
Thank you so much for help.
Marsha Way


David Wright  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:36
German to English
+ ...
I'm not an expert Oct 18, 2010

but I regularly have to translate court materials related to wills made in Austria that include property in the UK, asnd there has never been a question that the will might not be valid. I doubt whether the situation will be any ddifferent in the US,

However, you or your clients need to consult a US lawyer for a definitive answer. It's not really the function of a translator to deal with these matters, and certainly you cannot give a guarantee (or accept liability) for any reply you provide.


Marsha Way  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks! Oct 18, 2010

Thank you for that. The clients are aware that I will give them the service they request and accept no complaints about the will itself not being valid; however, I told them I would ask around to see what others in the legal field knew about it, so, you're right, I am not taking liability for its validity, but wanted to see what others had to say.
Thanks for your reply, and I would also assume there would be no problems, especially since this may be my situation some day!
Does anyone else have any specific advice for Mexico-U.S.?


Werner Maurer  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Will Oct 18, 2010

No legal expert either, but I would venture a guess that a will is a will and is sacrosanct and can't be contested simply by virtue of having been written elsewhere and/or by a foreigner. Whether the will is indeed the word of its purported author or not, is another matter and not strictly a legal one except to the extent that if proven to be a forgery, it certainly does become a matter for the criminal justice system. And of course there should be room for doubt as to, and mechanisms for the ensuring of, the accuracy of a will's translation. Why not have the will backtranslated to the original author by a third party, in the presence of a notary. Goldmine for the legal profession!

If in any country wills from elsewhere are as a matter of policy considered to be of questionable or no validity, I would interpret any such reality as moneygrubbing chicanery on the part of governments and/or bar associations. Nothing new about that, of course.


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