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。

草擬遺囑並不在乎資產的多少,目的在於減省許多手續,讓家人和朋友處理死者後事時更容易。遺囑需要由專業人士草擬及保管,這對同性伴侶尤其重要,因為在香港,法律對他們的保障不足,確立遺囑有助保障伴侶權益。

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


TRANSCRIPT

 

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.

為甚麼訂立遺囑這麼重要?許多人也沒有遺囑,他們也沒有想過訂立

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.

的確,許多人覺得自己不需要一份遺囑因為他們沒有這方面的預算或是覺得沒有需要他們不了解其實。一個人的離世會為家庭帶來很多問題。首先,家人需要面對失去至親。同時亦應知道由誰去繼承死者留下的遺產。然而在香港,遺囑認證的程序並不太簡單。

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

所以即使是年輕專業人士,你亦會建議他們訂立遺囑?

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.

當然,以強積金為例,在香港許多人也有強積金戶口。如果一個人離世,他的強積金戶口亦需要以遺囑認證方式處理。

Will Ripley
Who can be named?

遺囑上可以寫誰的名字?

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!

遺囑上可以寫任何人的名字。即使有家人也不代表他們必定是受益人。受益人可以是任何人:你的朋友,照顧你的人。不過你養的狗就不可以了

Will Ripley
But you have to be specific, right?

但必須要寫得明確?

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.

你必須寫得明確。我們不想有其他人前來隨便說:我是受益人。所以由專業人士草擬遺囑十分重要。

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

你也說這對同性伴侶尤其重要。

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.

沒錯!由於香港不承認同性婚姻或同性關係。如果沒有訂立遺囑,你的同性伴侶將不能繼承你的遺產。如果你是伴侶的經濟依靠,這就更為重要了。試想像,如果一個人突然失去經濟支柱。他該怎樣在香港這個物價高昂的城市生存?

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.

如果沒有遺囑。即使與死者關係疏離的家人也可能突然介入。申領死者遺產。

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 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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