What Is the Law of Inheritance in China?
China used to have Inheritance Law (Law on Succession). However, after the promulgation of the Civil Code in 2020, China has only the “Book VI Succession” in the Civil Code. In other words, the inheritance law became a part of the Civil Code.
“Book VI Succession” is divided into four chapters: General Provisions, Statutory Succession, Testamentary succession, Legacy, and the Disposition of the Inheritance.
We have selected some noteworthy points as follows:
1.Succession begins at the death of a decedent.
After the succession has commenced, the inheritors shall handle the inheritance of the decedent according to the rules of statutory succession. However, if there is a will or a legacy-support agreement, the inheritors shall handle the inheritance according to such will or legacy-support agreement.
2.The rules for statutory succession are as follows:
(1) Men and women are equal in the rights of succession.
(2) Inheritance shall be inherited in the following order of priority: the first-order inheritors including spouses, children, and parents; second-order inheritors including siblings, grandparents, and maternal grandparents.
(3) After the succession has commenced, the first-order inheritors shall inherit to the exclusion of the second-order inheritors. If there are no first-order inheritors, the second-order inheritors shall inherit.
(4) Inheritors in the same order shall, in general, inherit in equal shares.
(5) Children include children born in wedlock, children born out of wedlock, adopted children, and stepchildren in a maintenance relationship. They have equal status.
(6) Parents include biological parents, adoptive parents, and step-parents having a maintenance relationship. They have equal status.
(7) Siblings include siblings with the same parents, half-siblings, adopted siblings, as well as step-siblings in a maintenance relationship. They have equal status.
Testamentary succession refers to that a natural person makes a will in accordance with the methods prescribed by law to dispose of personal properties and may appoint an executor of the will. If there are several wills and their contents contradict each other, the last will shall prevail.
4. Legacy-support agreement
A legacy-support agreement refers to an agreement signed by a natural person with an organization or individual other than an inheritor. According to the agreement, the organization or the individual shall assume the obligations to take care of the life of the natural person and handle the work related to his/her death as well as the funeral. Based on performing the obligations, the organization or the individual may enjoy the right to legacy.
5. The deceased with no heirs
Any inheritance which is left with neither an inheritor nor a legatee shall be owned by the State and used for public welfare undertakings.
An inheritor shall pay off the taxes and debts that the decedent should pay according to the law within the limit of the actual value of the inheritance obtained.
Do you need support in Cross-Border Family Matters (Marriage and Succession)? CJO Family's team can provide you with China-based consulting service, including case assessment and management, background check, and debt collection (‘Last Mile’ Service). If you encounter any problems in cross-border family matters, or if you wish to share your story, you can contact our Client Manager Julia Yuan (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you want to know more about CJO Family, please click here. If you want to know more about CJO Family cross-border family matters service, please click here. If you wish to read more CJO Family articles on cross-border family matters, please click here.
Latest Posts on China-Related Cross-Border Succession Matters
- What Are My Inheritance Rights in China?You can inherit the property of your parents, children and spouse. If anyone lists you as the beneficiary in the will, you also have the inheritance rights stated in the will.
- What Is the Law of Inheritance in China?China used to have Inheritance Law (Law on Succession). However, after the promulgation of the Civil Code in 2020, China has only the “Book VI Succession” in the Civil Code. In other words, the inheritance law became a part of the civil code.
- How to Inherit Properties in China?￼How to Inherit Properties in China? First of all, you need to know whether the decedent has a will and whether you have inheritance rights in the will. If the decedent does not have a will, then you also need to know whether you are the heir in intestate inheritance. That is, whether you are …
- Is Debt Inherited in China?The answer is yes.
- How Much Does the Average Person Inherit from their Parents in China?We will use a fictional succession-related story to illustrate how inheritance works in China.
- Does China Have Inheritance Tax?No, China has no inheritance tax. If you inherit the money, you do not need to pay tax at all. If you inherit the real estate, you need to pay tax for the transfer of the property.
- How Does Inheritance Work in China?During the lifetime, one can specify in the will who inherits his/her house and other heritage. If the person has no will, the decedent’s children, spouse, parents, siblings, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents may inherit his/her estate.
- How Do I Get Money From My Deceased Parent’s Bank Account in China?You should first determine whether you are the heir to the money in the bank account of your deceased parent. If you have an inheritance right to the money, you can ask the bank to pay the part inherited by you.
- What Happens to Bank Account When Someone Dies in China?If the owner of a bank account dies, his/her heirs can get the money in the bank account.
- How Much Tax Will I Pay on My Inheritance in China?Generally speaking, there is little inheritance tax payable by heirs in China. Because, in China, heirs do not need to pay inheritance tax, except for some other taxes and fees, which are comparatively small.
- What Happens When You Inherit a House in China?What Happens When You Inherit a House in China? If you and other heirs need to inherit a house jointly at inheritance, there will be …
- When A Parent Dies Who Gets the House in China?The parent can specify in the will who inherits his/her house and other heritage. If he/she has no will, his/her children, spouse, parents, siblings, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents may inherit this house and other heritage.
- When Someone Dies Who Gets His/Her Property in China?Before his/her death, he/she can specify in the will who inherits his/her house and other heritage. If the person has no will, his/her children, spouse, parents, siblings, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents may inherit this house and other heritage.
- Can A Foreigner Inherit Property in China?The answer is YES. Here’s what to do for foreigners to inherit property in China.
Photo by Rob Nohava on Unsplash