China Estate Plan I: How to deal with your China assets generally

I have observed one interesting thing in my legal practice in family law area. While Chinese people within China are not much interested in making their estate plan, those overseas Chinese are however more keen to prepare for their late years of life and post-demise affairs.

With so many Chinese migrating to foreign countries across the globe, many of them don’t…

New policy in China for curbing property market: companies banned from buying

In the past a couple of days, four cities in China, Shanghai, Xi'an, Changsha and Hangzhou, has announced that they will restrict corporate entities in purchasing local properties, a new round of efforts in reining in local property market.

For a decade, China (mainly the central government) has been wrestling with property markets. On one hand, the governments…

Tax implications related to your inheritance of overseas estates in China

Taxes are one of the major concerns of foreign heirs inheriting estates located in China.  What taxes are levied on the estates or the inheritance? Is there any way of optimizing taxes in China for acquiring and cashing in on the estate assets?

I. Taxes for Inheritance of Estates

(1)  No Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax in China 

In today's world, many countries…

Legal Implications on the choice of trustees for properties in China

It is no longer anything fresh for a foreigner to have assets or properties in China. The foreigner can  be either real foreign individual without China root or overseas Chinese or naturalized Chinese. So when those people set up trusts in their residing countries (outside of China) and wish to place their China properties (either real properties or shares)…

Inheritance of corporate shares in a China company (III)

This is the third post regarding inheritance of corporate shares in a China company. Again it is about a special situation that may become more and more in reality with more and more Chinese riches migrating to foreign countries.

I. Facts of the Case

In 2002, a Chinese husband set up a trading company with a third party, and business went well. In 2006, the husband…

Do I have a claim in the property bought with the funds from my spouse’s parents?

Again this is a post for people who are caught in a divorce proceeding in either China or a foreign country but have marital properties located in China, in particular, real estate such as apartment, house, office or industrial premises.

As a Chinese tradition, parents often buy properties for their children even when they are very young or still babies. Nowadays,…

China Supreme Court interpretation on marital debts to save Chinese wives

We all love money but hate debts. In particular, you extremely hate paying debts incurred by others, even if debts incurred by your other half.

In response to the outcries from Chinese wives, on January 17, 2018, China Supreme Court issued a brief new interpretation (hereinafter the "New Interpretation") on how to decide on what debts shall be regarded as marital…

Inheritance of estates in China: you may have to resort to courts

If you are looking for legal information regarding inheritance of estates in China, the blog is for you. You may have read a few posts (how foreigners inherit estates in China, tax issues of inheriting real estate in China, multiple heirs inherit one piece of estate property in China, make a will disposing of properties in China) already and you know that the basic…

China inheritance tax not to come any time soon

At the end of last month, in response to an inquiry by a member from National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferrence, China State Administration of Taxes published on its website its reply. It said:

(1) China has not levied inheritance taxes so far, and has never published any regulation on this or even any draft regulation on inheritance…

Overview of China Trust Law

Does China has its own version of trust law?  Many may not have a ready answer.

Yes, China does have its own Trust Law enacted back in 2001. This post will summarize the main provisions and talk about the main issues.

1.   Definition of Trust

Article 2 of the Law provides for the definition of trust:

"For purposes of this Law, trust refers to that the settlor,

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…