If There is a Will, There is a Way

If There is a Will, There is a Way

If There is a Will, There is a Way 1280 680 Alfred Ip
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Alfred Ip talks to Will Ripley about the importance of having a Will and the implications of the probate process in Hong Kong.

It doesn’t matter how much in assets you have, you do not wish to put your family and friends through the aggravations caused by the process while they are dealing with your loss. It is also crucial to have your Will drafted by a professional estate planning lawyer, in particular for same-sex couples due to the lack of legal protection they face in the territory.

Visit our Wills of Concern campaign to find out more about how we are raising funds for AIDS Concern by writing wills for donations until end of 2019.

Alfred Ip與Will Ripley談及擁有遺囑的重要性以及香港的遺囑認證程序。


由即日起至2019年12月31日我們會以撰寫遺囑為關懷愛滋籌款。欲知詳情請參閱Wills of Concern



Will Ripley
Why is it important for people to have a Will? Because a lot of people don’t have one, they don’t think to do it.


Alfred Ip
A lot of people think that they don’t need a Will because they have no money or it’s not necessary, without understanding that actually, if someone passed away, it creates a lot of chaos to the family. First of all, they need to deal with the loss of you, but at the same time it is important that they know who is going to inherit the estate, and the probate process in Hong Kong – I must say – it’s not very straight-forward.


Will Ripley
So, even to somebody who’s a young professional you would recommend to get this done?


Alfred Ip
Absolutely! Say for example MPF, most people do have an MPF account in Hong Kong and it has to be dealt by way of probate after somebody passed away so, whithout a Will, it would make the probate process much more complicated.


Will Ripley
Who can be named?


Alfred Ip
Anyone can be named in a Will. It doesn’t mean that – just because you have family members – you have to name them as beneficiaries. You can name anyone: your friends, anyone who looks after you, you cannot name your dog though!


Will Ripley
But you have to be specific, right?


Alfred Ip
You have to be very specific. We don’t want anyone to come forward and say: “I am the beneficiary” when he’s not the one. So that’s why it’s very important to have a professional to draft your Will.


Will Ripley
And you say it’s particularly important for same-sex couples.


Alfred Ip
Definitely! Since same-sex marriage and relationships are not recognised in Hong Kong so your same-sex spouse is not going to inherit your estate if he’s not named in the Will. This is particularly the case when the spouse is actually financially relying on you. Imagine if you suddenly lose your financial provision, how is he going to survive, especially in Hong Kong, a very expensive city.


Will Ripley
And you could have family members swooping in and saying that a partner – if they are not named in a Will – saying that the family members are entitled, even if they’re estranged. You hear horror stories like that.


Alfred Ip
Yes, actually we are dealing with horror stories like that and it is particularly saddening when family members can totally change their attitude to you when tragedies like these happen. Family dynamics suddenly change, no matter how accepting they are to you during the deceased lifetime, after he passes away, as soon as they know they can inherit the estate and you are not, you’d be left with no choice!

對的,我們確實也有接觸這些個案。當看見死者家屬對死者伴侶的態度突然改變的確令人傷心。 當這樣的悲劇發生時,家庭環境突然改變。即使死者在生時家人對他的伴侶有多接納也無濟於事。當他離世後,只要家人知道他們有權繼承遺產而死者伴侶沒有,伴侶也只能接受了!

Alfred Ip

Alfred assists high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in handling their wealth-related issues, such as contentious and non-contentious trust and probate, mental capacity, family office, amongst other wealth management matters. He is also a leading Dispute Resolution lawyer with over 20 years of experience in Hong Kong. Moreover, Alfred helps clients with issues regarding Family Law.

All articles by : Alfred Ip
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