Inheritance Law in Hong Kong: Introduction
Inheritance Laws are enactments and commandments that affect an individual who is entitled to receive property or capital from a deceased a relative. In Hong Kong, these inheritances that individuals can claim do not make it compulsory for them to be a permanent resident in Hong Kong in order to for them to claim their inheritance. There is no any marginalization that concerns nationality, religion or gender when owning an inheritance in Hong Kong except for the age. An individual to own an inheritance in Hong Kong, he or she should be 18 years older or over 18 according to the Inheritance Law in Hong Kong. All the matters regarding the property of the deceased relative will be preceded in accordance with his or her will that includes both movable and immovable property. It is the responsibility of an inheritance lawyer to assist the client who is the inheritor to provide evidence that clearly states the will of the deceased relative. An affidavit of law given by a professional in the relevant jurisdiction will prove the law. Domicile is a complex process in Hong Kong because it is required to be acquired at birth and can only be amended by adopting some other place as an individual’s long-term residence as that opposite to the process of residence.
Inheritance Lawy in Hong Kong: Assising Client for the Application of Probate
The issues concerning inheritance are dealt by the Probate Registry, which is a division of the High Court. All the belongings of the deceased situated in Hong Kong at the date of his or her birth taken into consideration by the Probate Registry Commission. An inheritance lawyer in Hong Kong is responsible with assisting his or clients in such cases regarding inheritance by enlightening the clients about the significance of the presence of the will immediately on death that makes them deal easily with the legal matters considering the property that is to be inherited. Inheritance lawyer also should advise the clients that it is necessary to have an allowance of probate, in respect of a will or a grant of administration in respect of an intestate estate for the personal representatives to deal with the property that is to be inherited.
Sources of Inheritance Laws in Hong Kong
The following are the Principle laws that govern states that should be considered by the probate lawyers in Hong Kong.
- Inheritance Ordinance – Provision for Family and dependents
- Probate and Administration Ordinance
- Intestates’ Estates Ordinance
- Wills Ordinance
Most of the clients seek the assistance of probate lawyers in assisting them in preparing wills involving complex and cross-border circumstances. The initial step that should be taken by a Hong Kong probate lawyer when assisting their clients is to regard the content in the letter of administration or the probate in order to proceed with the legal process of administering the estate of the deceased relative of the client. It is the only legal document that officially appoints the personal representative of the will that proves that he or she has the legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the testator’s will.
Legal Services Provided by a Probate Lawyer in Hong Kong
The services provided by a lawyer in inheritance in Hong Kong to the welfare of their clients in order to get the maximum benefit if the probates are as follows:
- Providing advice on inheritance law and its procedures.
This is important as its sets the client in the right track and gives clear idea about the future steps that he or she has to take in order to own the property as mentioned in the will of the testator. Many clients who are not provided with the advice regarding the inheritance law fail to make the maximum benefit out of the probate and gets misled by other individuals, especially the other relatives who do not accept the testator’s will. Therefore it is the duty of the probate lawyer to assist his or clients by enlightening them about the proper inheritance law and the manner in which it works.
- Drafting Will
Probate lawyers in Hong Kong not only assist their clients in inheriting property, but they also assist the testators to draft or create their will according to proper legal documentation. They assist the clients in clearly stating their will without giving any chance for later complications to arise. Because most of the times after the death of the testator, his or her will is misinterpreted by certain individuals who secretly wishes to inherit the property.
- Application for grant of probate and distribution of assets thereafter.
Most of the times after the death of the testator many individuals who are to be inherited with the testator’s property according to his or her wish do not know the will of the testator and sometimes they do not know that they are the inheritors of the property. Therefore it is the liability and the responsibility of the probate lawyer to assist those individuals and deliver them the legal documents that state the will of the testator on time and then assisting them to apply for a grant of probate.
Contentious Probate Matters: Litigation in Hong Kong
The Hong Probate Lawyers also deal with contentious probate matters that include the following:
- Drafting appropriate applications for dependent persons that include children or widows under the Inheritance Ordinance that comes under the Provisions for Family and Dependents.
- Stating the validity of the will. This can be either challenging the will or defending the content of the will. It depends on the requirements of the client the probate lawyer assists.
- Claiming or defending the entitlements of illegitimate children and concubines.
- Legally reacting for the improper administration of estates. This can be either taking actions or defending actions. It all depends on the requirements of the client the probate lawyer is assisting.
Accordingly, the service provided by a Hong Kong Inheritance lawyer can be both contentious and non-contentious. Whatever the service is provided the inheritance lawyers will have to strictly advise their clients to abide by regulations of the Inheritance Law because going against the law can make the Jurisdiction to make them disown the expected inheritance by the testator.