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The 24-Hour Association Brings Security to End-of-Life Preparations

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By Natalie Hardy

The 24-Hour Association, an organization dedicated to supporting families through the death of their loved one, is alive and well.

This not-for-profit association was created in 1965 by full-time expats living in San Miguel de Allende. The memo sent out to rally around the need read: “As most of you know, Mexican law requires burial within 24 hours of death. This presents immediate problems that cannot await the arrival of executors, no matter how carefully prearranged. Therefore, an 11-person committee is being set up to take action in accordance with directions available, specifying all wishes of the deceased, who will have deposited in the Association a sum sufficient to cover the type of services requested.”

When the organization was founded more than fifty years ago, a person’s information was written down on a card file. Today, the Association uses computers, and the member’s file contains such information as the handling of the remains, what Mexican legal documents are required, what friends and relatives in San Miguel and abroad should be contacted, and what funeral services are specified.

Think what this means: are you without family here? Can you or your family navigate the correct procedures in a foreign country with its own laws and requirements? Being a member of the 24-Hour Association answers those needs and takes stress off the survivors and friends of the deceased.

There is more good news. The price you pay depends on the services you request. Once you become a member, many years can pass. But even when costs of services increase to the Association, there is no extra cost to you. It is a one-time fee per membership. If your plans change and you leave México, your membership fee is refunded, minus a modest administration fee.

The burial crypts and niches used are located in the Pantheon (San Miguel’s cemetery) down the road, past the Real de Minas Hotel and parking lot. It is worth a visit. There are grounds given to the 24-Hour Association by the local government in the ’70s, located down the main entrance path of the Pantheon. Walking through the foreigners’ section is like a history lesson of San Miguel. Many notables who have contributed to making the San Miguel community what it is today are named on the headstones and niche covers.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Might you want to take care of a potential situation that has a solution for the foreign community—The 24-Hour Association? Our website is www.24assoc.com. The Executive Secretary, Linda Cooper, is at sec@24assoc.com. Further information is available upon contacting us.

Natalie Hardy has been a board member of the Association for 15 years and is currently the vice president and public relations director. She had first-hand experience with the 24-Hour Association when her husband passed away in 2004, and she is a committed participant and steward of the Association.

 

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