Inheritance of estate in Mainland by Hong Kong people
According to section 24A of the Probate and Administration Ordinance, if the deceased, who is domiciled in Hong Kong, has left fixed estate such as property and land in the Mainland, the estates will be arranged under the inheritance law in the Mainland. If non-fixed estate such as cash, stocks and personal belongings have been left in the Mainland, these will be handled within the Hong Kong Estates Ordinance.
In the case of the non-fixed estate in the Mainland, if the deceased has made a will stating the arrangement of such estate, related parties can apply for probate from the High Court through the Probate Registry and obtain the right to execute the relevant estate. If the estate is intestate, it will be distributed under the following orders: the other half, issue and parents according to section 4 of the Intestates’ Estates Ordinance.
For fixed estate in the Mainland, it is also handled with or without the will’s presence. If a will has been made, related parties have to first apply for probate from the Court and arrange the beneficiary to the said estate to finish the process of inheritance in the Mainland. A typical inheritance process in the Mainland is illustrated below:
- Notarize documents including the Birth Statement, the Certificate of Marriage through lawyers from Notarization institution authorized by China Judiciary, as documents issued outside the jurisdiction of China are not accepted in China
- Send the notarized documents to China Legal Service (HK) Ltd for examination
- Head to the Notarization Institution where the fixed estate is located to apply for notarization of the inheritance statement
- Handle the local tax payments, if any
- Register for the transfer of ownership via local authority
If no will have been made by the deceased regarding the fixed estate in the Mainland, the estate will be distributed according to section 10 of the Chinese Inheritance Law. The first order of inheritance includes the other half, issue, and parents. All parties in this order are equivalent to each other and therefore have equal access to the deceased’s estate. After a consensus has been made among the beneficiaries, they have to follow the steps above in person or by lawyers authorized by them.