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Call for changes to inheritance law (2)

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

08:41, July 24, 2012

The National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislative body, has initiated the task to amend the law, said Wang Shengming, director of the Civil Law Office of the NPC Standing Committee Legislative Affairs Commission.

Liang Huixing, member of the NPC Law Committee and a civil law professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, submitted a proposed amendment to the Inheritance Law to the NPC in March.

Liang said he broadens the current 37 clauses to 90, and among other suggestions has urged the legislature to include more family members into the list of legal inheritors.

"We have more private property than before, but the family planning policy has made family trees much simpler. Many kids, especially in cities, don't even have a brother or sister," he said. He warned the clauses, if kept unchanged, will trigger more disputes in the future and result in an infringement on property rights.

Aside from increasing the number of legal inheritors, Liang has also proposed expanding the list of inheritable properties to include land use rights, insurance, shares and antiques collections.

He said the suggestions have been made in hope of plugging a loophole in the law, which lists inheritable objects as income, houses, forest, livestock, cultural objects, copyright and patent rights as well as other lawful property.

"The Chinese didn't have so many kind of property in the past when the law was legislated, and the list of inheritable properties should update along with socioeconomic change," he said.

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