Mexico City Approves the Use of Electronic Media for Civil Matters

November 1, 2021
Mexico City Approves the Use of Electronic Media for Civil Matters

As a consequence of social distancing triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, several articles of the Civil Code and of the Notarial Law of Mexico City were amended by means of a decree published in the Official Gazette of Mexico City on August 4, 2021, for purposes of implementing the use of electronic media primarily with respect to the following legal acts:

Bequests of digital goods or rights.

A last will and testament may include a bequest of digital goods or rights with respect to any electronic media, for example: domains and websites, applications, electronic information files, videos and images, usernames and passwords for bank accounts, or values used or owned by the testator. Additionally, a testator may designate a special executor who is someone other than the general executor to receive the information requried to access the inherited digital goods and rights for distribution of the same.

Electronic public last will and testament.

A public last will and testament may be executed through electronic media. In such cases the Notary Public must clearly read aloud the provisions of the last will and testament to the testator or send such text to the testator by electronic media. Then, once the testator has accepted the provisions of the will, he will sign such with his electronic signature (e.firma) as recognized by the Notarial Law.

The amendments also provide that, in the event of imminent death or an extraordinary circumstance in which the testator is not able to appear before a notary, the last will and testament may be granted through electronic media, so long as the notary is able to hear and see the testator, as well as speak directly to him/her contemporaneously in real time during the granting of the will.

For purposes of granting a last will and testament as set forth above, two witnesses must be physically present with either the notary or the testator, and the notary must record the will ceremony by any electronic media, which includes audio and video. The granting of the will must be recorded from start to finish, including the testator’s declaration of his/her last will and testament, through the testator’s acceptance of the will in its entirety.

Execution of contracts.

The amendments provide that when an offer is made through electronic media without setting a deadline for acceptance, the offeror shall be released from the obligation if such offer is not immediately accepted. They also provide that no prior agreement is required as between the contracting parties to give effect to the electronic offer and acceptance.

Conducting Members’/Owners’ meetings.

Business entities may conduct meetings through videoconferences, so long as such are recorded and saved. A copy of such recording must be attached to the corresponding meeting minutes.

Members may also adopt resolutions in lieu of a meeting when such are unanimously approved and confirmed  in writing, or by means of an electronic document signed by each member either physically or by means of an electronic signature (e.firma).

Mexico City Notarial Law. The amendments regulate the actions of notaries and notarial practices through electronic, optical scanning or other technological means, in connection with the new regulation of the Digital Notarial Record. New obligations and actions are also incorporated for the administration and conservation of the instruments, books, schedules and records to be maintained by notaries.

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