Matrimonial – Wills and Probate

Wills and Probate

 

Wills and probate settle family assets upon death of family member

 

wills-2Why do I have to make a Will?

  • A Will is usually the most important document a person will ever sign.
  • Some are of the view that unless they wish to undertake sophisticated tax planning, there is no need to make a Will. In fact, a Will is of fundamental importance for anyone who wishes to leave his/her affairs in order and to provide for his/her family or other Beneficiaries.
  • Whether the value of your estate is large or small, a Will is advantageous. Indeed,
  • even if you have no children or persons financially dependent on you, it is still advisable to make a Will. This is because a Will allows you to determine who inherits your property and simplifies the Administration of Your Estate.

 

If I do not make a will, what’s wrong?

  • If you do not make a Will, then your Estate will go to members of your family as determined by the law. The law may change from time to time and you cannot be certain exactly what provision will be made unless you make a Will.
  • If you do not make a Will, then your Personal Representatives are chosen according to fixed rules of law.

 

If I make a will, what then?wills-1

  • If you make a Will, you can choose those who you wish to act as Executor, taking into account your knowledge of them, their abilities and the personal relationships amongst your relatives and friends.
  • Dealing with the affairs of someone who has died is significantly easier and faster if he/she has left a Will. A Will can also reduce the costs of administering an estate.

 

What should I understand before making a will?

  • Each Will is made for an individual and its terms will therefore reflect personal circumstances.

 

Matters to be considered:

  • Foreign domicile, foreign taxes or foreign trusts.
  • Whether a separate Will is needed in another country.
  • How many assets you own? Particular items such as a valuable painting or things of sentimental value or cash sums shall be disclosed.
  • Who is/are the Executor(s) and trustee(s)?

 

What is Probate?probate

There are two kinds of grant obtainable from the Probate Registry of the Hong Kong Court:

  • 1. Grant of Probate – when the deceased died testate.
  • 2. Grant of Letters of Administration – when the deceased died intestate.

 

Procedure for obtaining a Grant

  • 1. All information of each particular assets the deceased owned at the date of death shall be informed to your Solicitors.
  • 2. There is no estate duty in Hong Kong, so Inland Revenue clearance is not necessary.
  • 3. An Affirmation of Administration shall be lodged at and filed with the Probate Registry with a prescribed court fee.
  • 4. Issuance of the Grant by the Probate Registry.

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