China Will Registration Center White Paper: 99.93% Choose to Abolish Son- or Daughter-in-Low’s Rights of Succession
China Will Registration Center published China Will Registration Center White Paper on March 21, based on data analysis of over 80,000 wills in preservation from the views of family relations, property, psychology and behavior of testators.
Average Age of Testators is Becoming Younger
Data shows that average age of testators who make wills through China Will Registration Center becomes younger, from 77.43 in 2013 to 72.09 in 2017. It results from two reasons. One is, population aging is speeding up and more “new” aged people would like to make wills as early as possible. The other is, some aged people want to make a will through China Will Registration Center but they are disqualified due to poor health conditions.
Source: China Will Registration Center
Elders from One-child Family are More Willing to Make a Will
Data shows that among 82,177 wills preserved by China Will Registration Center, 39,234 are made by parent of one-child family, in the proportion of 47.74%. The main reason is that, more people get to know that making a will can not only prevent disputes also prevent loss of family property.
Despite of the conditions like relatives of the last generation also have rights of succession, there are also other reasons for this phenomenon, for example, divorce rate of offspring is increasing or it might be unexpected issues regarding the transfer of the property.
What interests is that, 99.93% of the testators choose to add the clauses of abolish son- or daughter-in-low’s rights of succession based on the draft provided by China Will Registration Center, that is, the property that succeed is private property owned by the inheritor, not marital property owned by the couples.
Besides, 30.94% of aged testators make a will in order to avoid issues that may happen during the process of property succession, for example, the inheritors can’t provide evidence regarding whether the testators have illegitimate children or whether it’s common property shared with remarried spouses.
The Content of Testament Mostly Related to Real Estate
Data shows that, among the testaments that registered, most relate to real estate property, 99.69%, then cash in bank and company shares, 17.66% and 2.12%. Real estate property still the main part of elders’ family property.
From the view of the number of houses that involved, 53.88% of the testaments involve one house, 46.12% involve two. As to the area of houses, 42.24% of the testaments involve houses of less than 70 m2, 48.90% involve houses of 70-150 m2, 8.86% involve houses of more than 150 m2.
Inheritors are mostly testators’ children, spouse and grandchildren. 33.53% directly inherited by children. 27.07% indirectly inherited by children from the parent in presence. 13.58% directly inherited by grandchildren. 23.02% indirectly inherited by grandchildren from testators’ children. Most elderly testators don’t follow the principle of legal succession that each child has equal right in property inheritance.
33.54% of elderly testators believes they need to avoid potential disputes on property inheritance by making a will. The reasons include, some of the children are already given property, relations with children become worse, wealth gaps among children are quite large, children fail to assume duties of family support, testators don’t have contacts with their children for long times, their grandchildren directly inherit property but their children not. They also worry about the conditions like remarried family, children fostered by the other side when get divorced, stepchildren and illegitimate children.
Some of Elders Make a Will Secretly
Data also shows that, most elders spend at least 5 years to make a will, from mind set to action. 21.2% of the elders spend more than 10 years. As to the reason why they spend such long time on making a will, some of the elders said they worry this may lead to disputes among family members and can’t rest in peace.
66.59% of the elders come to make a will with children in company, 33.41% are not. 71.17% of the elders would negotiate with children before testation, 28.83% not. Among elders not making a will in secret, 33.4% choose not to public formula of property distribution.