Latest News:  
Beijing   Overcast    30 / 24 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>China Society

Call for changes to inheritance law

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

08:40, July 24, 2012

Li Yaohong lost her entire family in a car accident in March. Now she could lose everything they left behind.

The 33-year-old is embroiled in a legal battle to claim the assets and savings her sister and brother-in-law had built up, a total of almost 3 million yuan ($470,000), before their tragic death in Heilongjiang province.

According to a loophole in the law, the sum will instead go into government coffers because Li's 6-year-old niece, who was traveling in the same car at the time of the accident, survived her parents by just a few hours.

"The inheritance process begins at death, so theoretically the little girl automatically inherited her parents' property when she was on the way to hospital," explained Shao Xiaoyan, Li's attorney.

China's Heritage Law states that the only people eligible to inherit the assets of a person who dies without a will, are the deceased's spouse, children, parents, siblings or grandparents. The list does not include aunts and uncles.

Property that cannot legally be claimed goes to the government, or the collective ownership that the deceased was a member of, which mostly occurs when a death occurs in a rural community.

"Being the dead couple's only child whose grandparents had already passed away, she (Li's niece) technically had no inheritors," Shao said, adding that her parents owned an apartment, a car, and had savings at the time of their death.

She said Li's case illustrates that the 27-year-old inheritance code no longer meets the needs of the socioeconomic situation of the country, a place without a tradition of making wills but with growing private property and nuclear families with only one child.

Both the Beijing High People's Court and the capital's civil affairs bureau were unable to provide data on how many disputes have arisen from people dying without wills.

Analysts said the lack of statistics indicated an unawareness of the emerging issue, which could one day deprive relatives their legal property.

Lawmakers expect the issue to be addressed by the country's legislature this year.

【1】 【2】

Warning:Products to be careful of
News we recommend
       Apple          Evian Anheuser-Busch InBev
         Ford       JinMaiLang         Cadbury
        Roche          Auchan         Robust


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. APF servicemen in training

  2. Heavy monsoon rain hits Lahore, Pakistan

  3. No hard landing for Chinese economy

  4. Weifang kite festival attracts international hobbyists

  5. Zhang Ziyi and Sa Bening's love affair comes to light

  6. Crazy man goes wild in public

Most Popular


  1. West wrong on Chinese public's Syria view
  2. Clinton’s Asia trip takes economic turn
  3. Will SE Asia become a battleground?
  4. Credit stimulus not panacea
  5. Reforms are promising, but not perfect
  6. Raise awareness of domestic brands
  7. Ivy League not gold standard for teachers
  8. No need to panic about slowdown in China
  9. Commentary: Health of stock market
  10. S. China Sea tensions stirred up with outside help

What's happening in China

Fish farm in waters at Meiji Reef of South China Sea

  1. Boys have lower bar for university entry
  2. Second child is a growing option
  3. Chinese beauties put more weight on inner beauty
  4. Work to save traditional culture in Guizhou
  5. Hospital director arrested for raping 2 minors

China Features

  1. You and me, in Beijing to understand China
  2. Guided-missile battalion conducts training
  3. Main ingredient of Evian toner is water
  4. DPRK celebrates top leader's Marshal title
  5. Cangshan Mountain in Shanxi province

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai