Truth about Fideicomisos

With an ever growing interest in Baja California Sur, steady appreciation of the land and continued investment from national and international companies; whether to live in it or as an investment, buying real estate is a smart move.

While the buying process is straightforward, there is still much speculation about how foreigners can own property in Mexico, particularly in the South of Baja. While we will go into details, we would ask that you keep in mind the caliber of homes found in the Southern Baja area. Representing over 5 Billion dollars in declared value (nearly all owned and debt free), you can take comfort in the fact that there is already an established industry to help you; with professional standards equal to, or higher than those you are accustomed to.

While much has been said and ventured about whether or not the Fideicomiso will continue to exist, it is still the best way for foreigners to own land in Mexico, and from an estate-planning standpoint, the best manner for many Mexicans to hold title to land. Let’s discuss why.

By law, foreign citizens who wish to buy property within 50 kilometers / 31 miles from the coastline, or 100 km / 62 miles from the Mexican border; and all throughout the Baja California Peninsula, are required to do so through a “Fideicomiso.” These function similarly to a Living Trust in the USA. The ‘owner/buyer’ of the property is designated as beneficiary of the trust and holds the title through a bank. The bank acts as trustee and carries out instructions from the beneficiary. Throughout the term of the Fideicomiso, the beneficiary can rent, remodel, live in and enjoy the property; it can also be succeeded or bequeathed to a family member by naming them as substitute beneficiaries, if the need should arise, eliminating the need for probate.

Although the Trustee Bank has a statutory responsibility towards the beneficiary, it is important to point out that a Fideicomiso is not a lease, concession nor right to use, but simply allows the Trustee Bank to hold title for the beneficiary and act on behalf of the owner of the property.

Each Fideicomiso is valid for 50 years, and when it expires the trust permit needs to be renewed. Thousands of Fideicomisos have been renewed already and continue to be renewed yearly. It’s a simple process. But what if you wish to sell your property before the expiration date? You can either transfer the rights of the Fideicomiso to the new owner or you can terminate it and have the buyer open up a new one.

Setting up a Fideicomiso is a simple administrative process that can be done directly with the Trustee bank or a  Closing Company, some real estate agencies have in-house closing departments, but you are free to choose, as the buyer you closing method and agency.

By Pacific Closing Company, affiliated with Coldwell Banker Riveras. lgalindo@cbriveras.com We take pride in having meticulous and attentive personnel that can assist you from beginning to end, answering all of your questions; and can help you go over your options to see which is the best way for you to enjoy your investment.  Contact them at

Ph (624) 143.0202 US/CAN 866.805.4938 for more information.