China’s elderly encouraged to draft wills before death

China 24

More elderly people in China are being encouraged to leave wills in order to avoid legal disputes among family members after their deaths.

CGTN’s Li Lianxing reports.

“2012 saw a peak of inheritance legal disputes in China with more than 60,000 cases, and then steadily dropped by around 30 percent every year. But the number of cases with a will or without a will has been increasing every year,” Zhu Hu, a professor from Law School of Renmin University said.

Zhu said that those who are eligible to inherit and what could be inherited remains obscure to many. And a legally registered will is vital to avoid potential disputes.

“Chinese inheritance laws have strict requirements on the formation and content of a will. Many disputes are results of incomplete or ineffective wills designated by laws,” Zhu introduced.

To give more elderly people a chance to learn how to write a will, The China Will Registration Center, a non-governmental organization, is trying to play its part. Since its opening in March 2013, they have provided services to more than 70,000 elderly people in China, helping them write a legally recognized will and related consultation.

A will is not always necessary to avoid embarrassing and painful family disputes. But as more elderly Chinese chose to finalize their wishes before they leave this world, they are discovering new ways to deal with cultural taboos surrounding death, which is also a good thing for themselves and their families.

Yi Xu talks about the logistical issues around wills in China