On August 8, 2023, the plenary session of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (the “Court“), invalidated provisions of the Civil Code in force of Mexico City (the “Code“), in testamentary matters that allow people with disabilities to testament by electronic means.
In the world, according with the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the population suffers from some type of disability; and in Mexico, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, approximately 4% of the population, that is, approximately 6,200,000 people, suffer from some type of disability. The most common types of activities with difficulty that people with disabilities cannot do, or can only partially do, are: walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, concentrating and remembering.
Disability, understood as the physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment that a person has in the long term to carry out daily and vital actions, represents a space of opportunity in Mexico, since there are limited legal precepts that ensure the needs of people who suffer from some type of disability.
However, in Mexico City, one more step towards inclusion was taken, since, eight days ago this month, the Court partially invalidated provisions of the Code that resulted in impediments for people with disabilities to grant an open public will (the “Will”), through electronic means.
The articles that were partially invalidated by the Court are 1520 BIS first paragraph and 1520 TER, third section, which established that: (i) the Will could be made through electronic means as long as the Notary, when communicating with the testator, can see, hear and speak directly, in real time with the testator and, (ii) the testator must express his or her will orally.
By virtue of such determination of the Court, the Congress will have a term of twelve months to carry out the necessary amendments to the Civil Code, in order to adapt them to avoid any type of discrimination and to include alternatives for those who, suffering from any disability, wish to make their Will by such means.
We will continue to be attentive to the evolution of these changes in order to keep you informed.