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Law firm for HK will and guardianship

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  1. #11

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    I had an interview with one of the international law firms. It lasted an hour and created more questions than answers - wills are extremely complex when you have assets in different countries and they all have different laws (Japan complicates things greatly for me as their inheritance laws are nothing like Western laws).

    You have to consider the order in which the parents die, where you die, when you whether the children are adults at the time of death (if not, how to allow the guardians to access funds) and all the permutations on how assets acquired in future will change matters... Additionally you might want to create an optimal structure to maximize allowances and minimize taxes.

    In the end I gave up and filed it in the "too difficult" category. I'll revisit it when I'm feeling brave enough and we have some more clarity on where we'll be living when we're in the "Death Zone" haha.

    merchantms likes this.

  2. #12

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    Problem is you can't predict when you will die.....

    I should add I'm doing similar to what @TheBrit is doing and find it too complicated and keep on delaying it.

    Last edited by pin; 15-02-2019 at 09:24 AM.
    TheBrit likes this.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    I had an interview with one of the international law firms. It lasted an hour and created more questions than answers - wills are extremely complex when you have assets in different countries and they all have different laws (Japan complicates things greatly for me as their inheritance laws are nothing like Western laws).

    You have to consider the order in which the parents die, where you die, when you whether the children are adults at the time of death (if not, how to allow the guardians to access funds) and all the permutations on how assets acquired in future will change matters... Additionally you might want to create an optimal structure to maximize allowances and minimize taxes.

    In the end I gave up and filed it in the "too difficult" category. I'll revisit it when I'm feeling brave enough and we have some more clarity on where we'll be living when we're in the "Death Zone" haha.
    Ive had a meeting with a law firm now and I agree. Its massively complicated.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Ive had a meeting with a law firm now and I agree. Its massively complicated.
    If the will is too complicated, just get the guardianship sorted for now. You'll need temporary guardians here in Hong Kong if the guardians live overseas.
    shri, merchantms and MABinPengChau like this.

  5. #15

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    TheBrit likes this.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Any recommendations for a law firm or will writing firm to make an HK valid will?

    I've had a few companies suggested that seem to be focused on expats and charging accordingly. But I'm sure there are local firms with English speaking lawyers who can do the same work for more reasonable prices.
    You do realise that it is impossible to become qualified as a HK lawyer without being fluent in English, don't you?

  7. #17

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    I just had my will drafted back home and while they indicated that I should still double check with a local lawyer that the wording is applicable as internationally it should be ok (I'm from Canada). She also said that each subsequent will that I get written for where I am domiciled updates to each will maybe necessary to avoid it was conflicting with each other. It wasn't as painful to be honest - I guess mainly because the bulk of my assets are still at "home". Now I just need to buy a fireproof safe or get a safety deposit box

    Elegiaque likes this.

  8. #18

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    I don't understand... if it is needlessly complicated and so bad that you walk away from it, then isn't it possible and better than nothing to just have a notarized informal letter making some basic statement listing what assets you have and some basic directions of how it should be split if there are multiple intended heirs?

    You never know when you will spontaneously combust -- death can come unexpectedly, so having something in hand is better than nothing. And if/when you reach that point that it's worthwhile to meticulously organize assets for certain tax benefits, etc., then you can do that later in life when you're settled and closer to that point.

    Disclaimer: All my legal knowledge of wills comes from Bleak House.


  9. #19

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    My wife and I wrote HK wills a few years ago (paid about 6-8k to a lawyer). We need to amend them because our son has reached the age of majority and we have sold some property. The lawyer says the only way is to write new wills, which would cost another 6-8k, I guess.

    Instead, I am considering using the old will language, amending it, and writing new wills with two witnesses. I think I can use the old legalese to form the basis of the new wills. What is the downside to this approach?


  10. #20

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    Instead, I am considering using the old will language, amending it, and writing new wills with two witnesses. I think I can use the old legalese to form the basis of the new wills. What is the downside to this approach?
    Yes you can. A will does not have to be done through a lawyer.

    The only downside I can think of is if the will is lost and a law society search is done - it could result in the old will.

    Have you asked a local firm to make the change for you?

    (Not sure why there should be a change though, the will should have two conditions - if he/she is below 18 and if he/she is above 18 in it.)

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