Mainland and Hong Kong mutual recognition and enforcement of family court judgments

This is a new sign of integration of Hong Kong into its mainland. The two sides now mutually agreed to recognize and enforce the family court judgments delivered by the courts in the other side in full aspects, meaning that clients who have obtained a divorce judgments (child custody or other family issues decisions) from Hong Kong court (vice versa) can now request…

40% of Children of China’s rich refuse to carry on family business

A recent interesting case has sparked interests in China’s rich with regard to their family business continuation and inheritance.

A rich couple in China Jiangsu province was sued by their son to nullify a share transfer which was carried out by his parents without his knowledge in order to force the son to take up the family business to carry it on. Unfortunately…

Sale of co-owned property in China

Properties, I mean real estate such as houses, apartments, condos, and offices, can be owned by more than one owner, resulting in co-ownership in a certain piece of property.

I.  Co-ownership under China Property Law

Under China Property Law, there are two types of co-ownership: tenancy in common and joint tenancy. However please be noted that the tenancy

When a foreign testamentary trust involves a property in China

As I deal with quite a number of matters of inheritance by foreigners of estates in China, a few cases in which clients from Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions such as Canada and USA inherited estates left by their family members have involved trusts that are set up by the decedents, which are very interesting to me, a lawyer in China where civil trusts are rarely used in…

A New Understanding of Trust Laws-Close the Gap between Civil and Common Law Systems

You can download the PDF version of this post HERE.

Trusts have been hot in China recent years esp in the financial sector of China economy. As a business and family lawyer in China, I find it intriguing how the trust mechanisms can help with respect to estate planning for wealthy Chinese and business planning as well, which has prompted to further explore the world…

Citizen-state relation culture difference between China and the western countries

I have been doing research on trust laws for some time in particular the comparison between Chinese trust laws and those of the Western countries such UK and USA.b

An obviously observatory difference manifested from trust laws is that western countries recognize and allow its citizens to use trusts and other legal instruments to reduce and evade tax burdens…

A trust is an independent legal entity?

It is actually quite a predominant view that a trust is often considered to be an independent legal entity or in other words, a trust once settled, has come to have its own legal personality capable of engaging to legal activities such as owning properties or entering into contracts.

But it is not correct. Recent case rulings by American courts have confirmed …

Change title of China property based on a foreign court judgment?

A client from United States just got divorced with his American wife  through court proceeding, and in the American court judgment, a piece of real estate that was bought by the couple in Shanghai China was ordered to be owned by the husband only and the husband in turn will pay a sum of money to the wife.

Now the question is whether and how the husband can …

China Family Law: spouse interests in real properties and corporate equities

As a part of family law practice, divorce cases are increasing in China esp in first-tiered cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

With the number of cross-border marriages between Chinese and foreigners, it is good for the foreigner spouse to understand the legal environment in China in case of an inevitable divorce, in particular, in terms of the …

11 reasons divorce is better than staying in a bad marriage

This post is copied from huffingtonpost.com. Good points for people in failing marriages to know and consider. However, when it comes to divorce, or anything involving deep feeling and emotion, no one is as sober as a third party bystander. But, I am not saying the bystanders know the best thing for the people caught in divorce. People are just different.

For…

A frequent inheritance-related scam many foreigners succumb to

Does it, the following cited paragraph, look familiar to you in any way?

Good Day Sir

I am an American and was contacted by Citic Bank in November of 2015 some months ago as heir to a sum of money from there bank.  They have set fees for months and I have paid all but this final fee which is in route to them by transfer, but they only give me 72 hours.  They have never

foreigners in Beijing not allowed to receive gifted real properties if not eligible for purchasing

First of all, please note that I have not been able to locate the related decree or notice issued by Beijing local government, therefore not able to verify the captioned statement.

Just recently, in advising a foreign client in inheriting estate apartment left by his late father, I came to learn from local notary office a piece of new rule that was said to take…

Notarize your will to avoid trouble for your heirs/beneficiaries thereunder

Every year I deal with quite a few inheritance cases (litigious or non-litigious) involving foreigners inheriting estate (properties, shares and bank deposits) in China.

Very often, there is a written will produced by one heir to support his or her claim over the estate. The problem is that these wills are not properly notarized, leaving a great deal of uncertainty…

Tax issues in inheritance of estate properties in China

Many foreigners are concerned with China estate taxes when they inherit estates in China.

As a matter of Law, China has not formally enacted estate tax laws despite rumor about it for many years. I personally don’t foresee this enactment any time soon. After all, without this law, Chinese rich people are already fleeing this country for various reasons.…

Easy married, hard divorced in China (international marriage with Chinese women)

The world is flat, as depicted by the book so entitled. Cross-border marriages mushroom everywhere in the globe, including China, esp in big metropolis cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

There are many reasons why a foreigner will get married to a Chinese spouse (most often Chinese wives), and sometimes, they get married quickly or “flash…

What if there are multiple heirs to inherit one piece of real estate?

Very often in an inheritance case, there are multiple heirs entitled to inherit one piece of real property. In case that the heirs are not on good terms between them, there will be problem and anxiety arising from the possible joint ownership of the same property.

So what does the law say in regard of dealing with the situation in an inheritance case? Is it possible…

Deal with the property in China after you get divorced in your home country

There are always interesting issues coming up along the way I entertain inquiries sent to me from this law blog. It is worth to write them down just for people who may be looking for similar information and help.

Today, I got an email from a client in USA regarding an inheritance of a real property in Shanghai. The client’s father had just died recently in 2013,…

Legatees’ risk of losing legacy bequeathed on them under Chinese Inheritance Law

A client called me from Australia inquiring about her situation in inheriting a house in Shanghai, which is worth writing a post discussing the problem surrounding legatees under Chinese inheritance/succession laws.

Here are the facts of her situation: her deceased grandma left a will which bequeathed a house in downtown Shanghai on her; the Will was duly…

create a condition in your favor in the tug of war for child custoday

Child custody is a very often the most focal point in the divorce proceeding where the breaking couple both want to take custody of their children.

For foreigner women married to Chinese men in China, divorcing itself is unendurable pain given that they are in a foreign country where they don’t have much family bond or friendship around them except the …

FAQs on buying property in Shanghai, China

[NOTE, this is an old article written by Jason Tian back in 2009 based on his experience in helping foreigners in Shanghai purchase their homes here. Unfortunately, this article has been plagiarized by some other Chinese lawyers in Shanghai.Here this article is updated pursuant to new development after 2009. Please also take note that I am not encouraging