Ins and outs of the Fideicomiso trust

Ins and outs of the Fideicomiso trust

While Mexico and the properties in its restricted zones remain one of the most promising directions for foreign investments, it’s of utmost importance to know how exactly ownership rights of non-nationals are regulated. Nowadays, the country’s laws are clear enough, but there are still some legal intricacies you want to be aware of. For instance, if you are an American looking to buy a cottage that is located within 30 miles of the Mexican coast, your plans are likely to fail. The thing is that foreigners are forbidden to own these properties by law.
That said, you can hold off on channeling your investments into other countries. The government of Mexico provides you with a loophole allowing you to own a coastal or border property without violating the laws. And this loophole is all about a Fideicomiso.

Fideicomiso explained

In the simplest terms, a Fideicomiso is a bank trust that allows you to invest in any Mexican property and own it as a beneficiary. Its main idea is that you have all the rights of real estate ownership while a Mexican bank holds the legal title to it as your trustee. It’s like fee-simple ownership, meaning that the bank cannot place liens on your property or use it in any other way. Representing your interests is the ultimate responsibility of the trustee.

A Fideicomiso can be set up between a trustor, trustee, and beneficiary for as long as 50 years with an option to renew it if needed. Once established, the trust deed will enable you to lease, sell, improve, bequeath, or encumber your real estate legally. In other words, it’s up to you to decide how to use the property.

What are your rights within the Fideicomiso trust?

The Fideicomiso trust enables you to settle in the property, sell it, or use it as a vacation home for recreational purposes. However, there are some legal details you should be cognizant of:

● You are entitled to use the property until the validity period of the trust is expired. After that, you will have to renew it.
● To obtain full legal ownership of the property in a restricted zone without setting up a Fideicomiso, a foreign buyer has to acquire a Mexican citizenship.
● A Fideicomiso allows you to leave the real estate as an inheritance to your alternate beneficiaries.
● When buying or selling the property within a Fideicomiso, be sure to use the services of Notarios. They are qualified attorneys who are authorized by the government to certify the trust deed and other documents required for real estate transfers. Please note that all foreign investors must hire Mexican Notarios for closing property deals legally.
● You have the right to give your estate asset as a pledge and mortgage it by setting up the Guaranty trust. This can be done only if a Mexican bank offers the services of that kind.

The bottom line

All in all, a Fideicomiso is an excellent way to get around the Mexican laws prohibiting foreign ownership of real estate in restricted zones. Establishing this trust means you can invest in any property and use it the way you want without obtaining Mexican citizenship.

Fideicomiso in Mexico