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Inheritance Law in Hong Kong

Inheritance Law in Hong Kong

Updated on Thursday 19th May 2016

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Inheritance law in Hong Kong has abolished estate tax in the year of 2006 and thus, there are no taxes on gifts or wealth. The law in Hong Kong applies in the same way for both residents and non-residents and regardless of religion or sex. Therefore, there is no restriction on the people to whom the property is passed on by the deceased, on the condition that they are over 18 of age. Seeking help from a  law firm in Hong Kong would probably be the best way to handle inheritance issues.

Intestacy in Hong Kong

In case no will has been made, Hong Kong law will be applied to immovable properties which are located in Hong Kong and the courts in charge will have to check the laws from the deceased's domicile with regard to the moveable properties. 
Inheritance issues are generally dealt with by the Probate Registry, a sector of the High Court. When the personal representatives have to deal with an intestate property, a grant of administration is usually necessary.

How do the intestacy rules apply?

Intestacy rules are applied depending on the surviving relatives of the deceased, as follows:
  • • In case there are no surviving children, parents or other siblings, after payment of expenses and debts, the estate will be passed to the spouse.
  • • If there are surviving children, the spouse will be allowed to take only half of what remains of the estate and to a legacy of a certain sum of money.
  • • If there are parents or siblings alive, but no children, the spouse is entitled to a legacy of the doubled sum of the previous case before the division of the estate to the other heirs.
In the event that there is no surviving spouse though, the estate is passed through members of the family and ultimately on to the Government of Hong Kong.
Our lawyers in Hong Kong can help you with any inheritance issues you may encounter.

The benefits of a will in Hong Kong

A will can state the deceased's choice regarding executors, guardians to his/her children who are under 18 of age and of course, it can specify how property and assets will be inherited by the beneficiaries and who will those be. Assistance in these matters can be provided by our lawyers in Hong Kong as sometimes writing a will can be a delicate process.
The will has to be left in writing, signed by the testator and it will only be valid if it shows a true reflection of the deceased's wishes. The will should be written in Chinese or English in order to avoid further complications. By making a will, the application of the statutory rules governing the division of the estate is avoided and the individual's wishes and intentions are respected.
You can contact our Hong Kong lawyers in case you have any questions or you need advice concerning inheritance in Hong Kong.


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