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Wills are Suddenly Important in China

Published January 16, 2017 by Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC

An ongoing crisis with wills and estate plans plagues China.

A particularly difficult estate planning issue in China was reported recently by USA Today in “Chinese don’t have wills — and now it’s a big problem.”

Not too long ago, the Communist Party in China had strict rules about the accumulation of wealth and passing it on to heirs. During the Cultural Revolution, things were very simple. A person could not accumulate wealth at all, so there was nothing to pass on.

Because of the culture of the Communist Party in China, a person could not accumulate wealth to pass it on to the next generation. However, the party has since loosened its rules and many Chinese people are now extremely wealthy.

Unfortunately, most of them do not have estate plans and that is causing problems.

The Chinese courts have seen a flood of inheritance disputes that are clogging up their system and slowing down affected business. Families are fighting over this new wealth in the country and even the Communist Party is growing concerned.

It is estimated that only 1% of the country’s senior citizens have wills. Even those who do have wills of some sort, cannot avoid issues.

Some 60% of wills challenged in the country are found to be invalid. The Communist Party is now actively encouraging people to get proper wills.

While the problem is not as severe in the U.S., too many people here also do not have wills.

That causes the same issues as the Chinese have.

An estate planning attorney can guide you in developing your own unique estate plan.

Reference: USA Today (Jan. 2, 2016) “Chinese don’t have wills — and now it’s a big problem.”

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