I have a situation in my wifes family where I would like some help and guidance in order to navigate a delicate property situation. To start with, I have browsed the forums as well as google about this so much, but I feel like getting some additional confirmation of my findings here and some clarity regarding the situation as it is quite difficult to understand everything.
Background and long story short: My wife and her family lives in the EU, she is born here but her parents are from HK. Her father, who is a HK citizen, owns half of a house in HK with the other half belonging to his brother (who has lived there with his family). His brother passed away and transferred his portion of the house to his wife last year, and she is not very friendly with the rest of the family and we are afraid that she might not be very cooperative. So my wifes father wants to transfer his portion of the house to my wife, as he is getting quite old as well. Also, the house was bought about 40 years ago, no mortgage to think about in this case.
So, what I want to know is, have we understood the process correctly, and if not, what are we missing. And more precisely how much everything will cost (which is quite important, because as we have understood it the transfer of ownership might be more expensive than we thought).
The way I understand it is there is a possibility to do a transfer of ownership, but there are some administrative fees connected to that (2350+2850 HKD?), where all you need to do is hire a solicitor, fill out a form, and the solicitor does the rest?
But, there is also stamp duty that might incur additional costs in the transfer to my wife/her family? I have tried finding out how much that might be but I am struggling with it. In this case, it should be ADV stamp duty I believe, which is based on a 15% flat rate of the market value of the property? If yes, how can we calculate this beforehand?
If it turns out to be way too expensive, my wifes father is considering writing a will to have her inherit his portion of the property. This should be exempt from any stamp duty in the case of transfer through inheritance? What we are worried about here is, in order to write the will, do we need the original contract of the property? Because my wifes uncles family has it, and that's where they are afraid that the uncles wife might not cooperate if we need the contract to write the will. Can my wifes father write the will properly for her to inherit, without having a copy of the contract as well? My wifes family has asked for a copy for the contract several times in the past but her uncle has avoided doing so.
I really am sorry for the wall of text. If someone has the time to provide some assistance in this situation, it would be greatly appreciated. It is a long shot but my wife and her family is quite stressed about this, and we are planning on going to HK this summer to try and resolve this situation and we are trying to be as prepared as possible.