Estate Management Office of the High Court of Hong Kong FAQ


Answers to questions about the Estate Management Office of the High Court of Hong Kong is as follows: 

Introduction to the First Part of the Estate Office 

1.1 What is probate?

A probate is a court order that authorizes one or more persons according to the instructions in the will to manage the estate of the deceased. The authorized person is called the executor. 

1.2 What is an estate management statement?

An estate management statement is a court order that authorizes one or more persons to manage the deceased’s estate in accordance with the law. Authorized person Known as the administrator. 

1.3 What is an estate administration (with a will)?

An estate administration (with a will) is a court order that authorizes one or more persons to manage the deceased according to the instructions in the will in the following situations 

The estate - there is no designated executor in the will or no executor is able or willing to perform its duties (for whatever reason).

The authorized person is also called the estate administrator. 

1.4 What is a grant? 

A grant, commonly known as "undertaking paper", Including probate, estate administration or estate administration (with will).

Building of Estate Management Office of the High Court of Hong Kong


Part Two: The Legacy Office 

2.1 Why was the Legacy Office established? According to the "Probate and Estate Management Ordinance" (Chapter 10 of the Laws of Hong Kong), the High Court is granted the power to issue a grant, which is exercised by the Registrar of the High Court when processing all non-controversial applications and establishes the estate in the Judiciary the contractor to assist him in performing his work. 

2.2 What is the responsibility of the inheritance office?

The inheritance office assists the registrar in processing applications and making inquiries to ensure that the award is issued to the person specified by the law; in addition, it assists him in performing other statutory functions, including the work of the estate administrator.


Part Three: The Administrator 

3.1 Who is the Administrator?

The Registrar of the High Court is the official estate administrator. 

3.2 What is the Registrar of the High Court is the official estate administrator responsible for?

The estate administrator provides an inexpensive treatment method for small estates. He assisted the beneficiaries of the estate to obtain money from the estate in a simple way.

3.3 Under what circumstances will the estate administrator assist in managing the estate in a simplified manner?

The estate administrator usually assists in managing it in a simple way: an estate composed of cash on hand, bank deposits and/or MPF, with an amount not exceeding $150,000. 

3.4 Does the estate administrator charge?

The administrator of the estate levies a fee based on the total value of the estate at the following rate: 

(a) the first 1,000 yuan...... 5%

(b) thereafter RMB 4,000......2.5%

(c) Balance......................... .........1% Part 4 What should I do?


4.1 What should I do if I want to undertake the inheritance of the deceased? 

This question is difficult to answer, because it depends on many factors.

However, if the deceased died in Hong Kong and his estate was in Hong Kong, you can first consider the following two factors:

(a) the date of death of the deceased, and

(b) the value and nature of the estate.

Part 5 The deceased died before February 11, 2006 5.1 What should I do first?

You must go to the Estate Tax Office of the Inland Revenue Department to apply for the necessary and complete estate tax certification documents.

5.2 What should I do next?

If the estate meets the conditions described in paragraph 3.3 above, you can apply to the estate administrator to manage the estate in a simplified manner.

5.3 What can I do if the administrator cannot provide assistance? 

You can go to the Public Application Section of the Probate Office to apply for the award.

The Public Application Team can usually provide assistance in the following situations:

(a) The application seems simple

(b) The estate is not complicated, or

(c) The Registrar considers it appropriate to provide assistance.

5.4 What should I do if the public application team cannot provide assistance?

In this case, you should consider consulting a lawyer. The Probate Office maintains a list of solicitor firms printed by the Law Society of Hong Kong for inspection.


Part VI The deceased died on or after February 11, 2006 

6.1 What should I do first?

 Please check the remains of the deceased. If he has rented a safe alone or in conjunction with others, you should follow the relevant pamphlet issued by the Home Affairs Department to apply for inspection of the safe, check the contents of the box, and take out the deceased's will (if any).

6.2 What should I do next?

If you urgently need money to pay for the funeral expenses or provide living expenses to the deceased’s supporters, or if the inheritance is all money and the amount does not exceed 50,000 yuan, you should follow the relevant pamphlets issued by the Home Affairs Department to seek assistance in accordance with the procedures.

6.3 If the Home Affairs Department cannot provide assistance, what can I do?

If the estate meets the conditions described in paragraph 3.3 above, you can apply to the estate administrator to manage the estate in a simplified manner.

6.4 What can I do if the administrator cannot provide assistance?

You can go to the Public Application Section of the Probate Office to apply for the award. 

The Public Application Team can usually provide assistance in the following situations:

(a) the application seems simple

(b) the estate is not complicated, or

(c) the Registrar considers it appropriate to provide assistance. 6.5 What should I do if the public application team cannot provide assistance?

In this case, you should consider consulting a lawyer. The Probate Office has a list of solicitors printed by the Law Society of Hong Kong for inspection.


Part VII Who can apply for a grant letter?

7.1 If the deceased has executed a will, who can apply for the grant?

Generally speaking, the application should be made by the executor.

7.2 What if there is no designated executor in the will or no executor is able or willing to perform his duties (for whatever reason)?

Article 19 of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) stipulates the priority of applicants.

To answer this question, you must understand some of the terms in the rules and explain the relevant will.

If you have any questions, you should consider consulting a lawyer. 7.3 If the deceased has not executed the will, who can apply for the grant?

Article 21 of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) has made relevant provisions. 

In simple terms, the priority of applicants is as follows:

(a) A spouse

(b) A child of the deceased

(c) The father or mother of the deceased

(d) A sibling of the deceased.


7.4 Who should make the application?

 Generally speaking, the person with the higher priority should apply for the grant. However, if the person with the higher priority has died or waived the right to obtain the grant, the person with the lower priority is still entitled to the grant

However, evidence that the person with higher priority has died or waived the rights must be presented to the inheritance office.


Part 8 What should I pay attention to when applying for a grant?

8.1 Can I apply for the grant in person?

Section 4(1) of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) allows you to do this. 8.2 Can I apply through the attorney?

Anyone who has the right to obtain a grant and lives outside Hong Kong can apply through a legally appointed attorney.

8.3 Should I hire a lawyer?

This is your personal choice. You may consider hiring a lawyer to assist you in applying for the grant in the following situations:

(a) the application appears to be complicated and/or the inheritance is complicated, and/or

(b) you are not involved in the preparation and submission of necessary documents and other legal procedures unfamiliar.

8.4 Can the staff of the estate office help me?

The staff of the Probate Office will do their best to assist you in the procedures for applying for the Grant.

However, please note that Article 4(8) of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) clearly states that the Probate Office No one within can provide legal advice to individual applicants. 

8.5 Can I apply through an agent?

Section 4(2) of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) aims to prevent non-lawyers from providing legal services to others. Therefore, regardless of whether the agent is paid or not, it prohibits applications made by the agent.

In addition, individual applicants cannot be accompanied by his adviser or someone who looks like his adviser.

8.6 Is there a limit on the number of applicants?

You should note:

(a) Grants cannot be issued to more than four persons, and

(b) If the estate involves minor beneficiaries and/or persons with life rights (usually referred to as minor rights and/or life rights ), the award must be issued to no less than two persons.


Part 9 How to apply for a grant letter?

9.1 Which documents should I prepare? 

You should fill in the appropriate specified forms, which are printed by the Probate Office, and you can also download them from the website of the office.

In addition, you must bring all relevant documents and evidence to prove that you are entitled to the grant.

9.2 How should I fill out the specified form?

The Registrar of the High Court has issued a "Guide to the Use of Specified Forms", which you can ask for at the Probate Office or download it from the website of the Office.

In addition, you can also consult a lawyer.

9.3 Can I apply for the grant letter by post?

You must go to the Probate Office to apply for the grant, because Article 4(9) of the "Undisputed Probate Rules" (Chapter 10A of the Laws of Hong Kong) does not allow applications by post.

 

Part X. Fees for the Grant

10.1 Do I need to pay for the grant application?

The court will collect fees in accordance with Schedule 2 of the "High Court Fees Rules" (Chapter 4D of the Laws of Hong Kong).

10.2 If the deceased died before February 11, 2006, what will the court charge?

The court fees include:

(a) The filing fee of the application is 265 yuan

(b) The transcription fee of the grant is 72 yuan, and

(c) Pro rata fee for processing the grant application: if the net worth of the sworn estate is 10,000 yuan. ..........160RMB 20,000RMB............ ..... 320 yuan 50,000 yuan ... 640 yuan 100,000 yuan ... ...............800 yuan and 200,000 yuan...1,200 yuan and 300,000 yuan. ..........1,600 yuan and 400,000 yuan... .....2,400 yuan 600,000 yuan...3,200 yuan 800,000 yuan... ...............4,000 yuan and 1,000,000 yuan............. 4,800 yuan and every more For 100,000 yuan or less than 100,000 yuan, an additional 400 yuan is required.

10.3 If the deceased died on or after February 11, 2006, what will the court charge for?

The usual court fees are:

(a) RMB 265 for filing the application, and

(b) RMB 72 for the transcription of the grant. The pro-rata fee based on the net worth of the estate has been cancelled.

Issuing unit: Ministry of Justice Document Number:

[99] Silu Gongzi No. 049 Release Date: 1999-6-15

Implementation Date: 1999-6-15 Effective Date: 1900-1-1 All provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities judicial departments (bureaus)

Notarization Management Office and Chang'an Notary Office:   

After Hong Kong’s return, the mainland and Hong Kong have become increasingly connected, and the inheritance matters involving the two places have also increased.

In order to better provide legal services to the parties and standardize the Hong Kong-related inheritance notarization business, The China Legal Services (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. provides you with the "Introduction on the Procedures and Points for Attention in Handling Hong Kong Inheritance Inheritance", and please forward it to the respective notary offices for reference when handling Hong Kong-related inheritance notarization.

China Legal Services (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd. is a legal service agency established by the Ministry of Justice in Hong Kong.

It has institutions and personnel specializing in the inheritance of Hong Kong and Mainland heritage.

Notarization departments can contact them when handling Hong Kong-related notarization matters. 

Company address: Room B, 32nd Floor, United Center, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 28279700).  

 

Introduction to the procedures and issues that should be paid attention to in handling inheritance in Hong Kong  

1. Regulations and procedures for handling inheritance in Hong Kong

Hong Kong inheritance is handled by the Estate Management Office of the High Court. Follow the procedure below:   

1. Receive the death certificate of the deceased. If the deceased died in the Mainland, a notarized death certificate must be provided.  

2. Investigate and count the property left by the deceased. Including the real estate property records and value under the name of the deceased, the principal and interest of deposits in the bank and the properties in the safe, the stocks and values ​​of listed companies and private companies held by the deceased, and the debts owed by the deceased.  

3. Declare and pay inheritance tax. Report the deceased’s estate to the Estate Tax Office of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department according to the date of death.

The detailed list of the estate shall be submitted to the estate department by the applicant under oath.

According to Hong Kong law, those who died after the beginning of 1982 did not have to pay taxes if their estate did not reach 2 million

2 million to 2.5 million were paid 10% tax

3 million to 3.5 million was paid 14  

Inheritance 3.5 million to four million to pay 16% of the tax   

Inheritance over 4 million to pay 18% of the tax   

The deceased’s residence is left to his spouse, exempt from the inheritance tax

To the deceased Donations from public charities are also tax-exempt;   

All gifts (except overseas gifts) made within the three years before the death of the deceased are counted in his estate and are subject to tax.

The property that the deceased was co-managed with others before his death, although automatically When transferred to its co-manager, all taxes must be paid, but the amount of tax is determined based on the proportion of the capital at the time of the purchase of the property. 

The property transferred by the deceased, if still retains control, is also included in the category of inheritance.

All the deceased in Hong Kong Debt is deducted from the property, and then the tax amount and tax rate are determined. The funeral expenses of the deceased are limited to 10,000 Hong Kong dollars.

The estate tax on real estate can be paid in eight years and once every six months. If the undertaker does not declare the tax and interest to the estate tax office within 12 months after the death of the deceased, the estate officer may decide whether there is a reasonable reason for delay whether to impose a double payment penalty.  

If the deceased and the beneficiary of the estate die one after another within five years, the estate tax payable on their property and business can be reduced as appropriate.

If the amount of the estate is below the exemption of tax payment, the estate tax office can issue a certificate of exemption from estate tax and a schedule.

If the estate exceeds the tax exemption amount, the estate tax office will issue a tax notice. 

After the applicant has paid the estate tax, the estate The Tax Office will issue a certificate of paid estate tax and a list of estates. 

In any case, the Estate Tax Office can recover the personal income tax or salaries tax owed by the deceased's death to the estate administrator.  

 

4. Apply to the High Court for undertaking and verification

I. The conditions for the official undertaker to apply for the inheritance:

a. The deceased has neither a will nor an heir in Hong Kong, but has an estate.

b. The deceased has an estate in Hong Kong but no will, and the heir requires the official undertaker to undertake it.

c .The deceased has an estate in Hong Kong, but no will, and the heir has not applied for undertaking within 12 months.

d. The deceased has no will, but has an estate in Hong Kong, and the heirs living in Hong Kong are minors.

e. If the deceased has If the executor refuses to execute a will, it is also treated as intestate.

f. The official undertaker needs to make a complete account of the estate, provide a copy of the document to the party, and may receive a remuneration (the first thousand yuan is charged at 5%, and the fourth Thousand Yuan is charged at 2.5%, and the remaining part is charged at 1%.)   

II. Conditions of other undertakers

The undertaker shall not exceed four persons. If the application is made by a natural person, only one person is required.

If the inheritance undertaken involves the rights and interests of minors, or the beneficiary has rights and interests only during his lifetime, the undertaker shall not be less than two. 

But if the undertaker is If it belongs to a trust company, it can be executed separately.

In testamentary inheritance, if the executor dies, the executor of the executor will continue to perform his tasks.

If the executor is not designated, or the executor dies before the testator, or the executor refuses to execute the will, the heir can apply for the execution. But it needs to be executed according to the will.  

The court can also appoint an underwriter or approve an underwriter under certain circumstances.


III. The powers and responsibilities of the undertaker:

a. The undertaker has the right to sue for the deceased.

b. The undertaker has the right to sell, transfer and mortgage the deceased’s estate.

c. The undertaker does not need to be responsible for the loss of the estate under the condition of loyalty

d. The undertaker can receive remuneration.

e. If the undertaker is a trustee, if the inheritance is purchased, the beneficiary has the right to overturn, except if the price paid is reasonable or the beneficiary agrees.

f. The deceased’s estate is handled without the undertaking shall bear the same legal responsibility as the undertaker.


IV. Documents applied to the court for undertaking:

a. The applicant's oath as the legal administrator of the estate, the oath should prove the identity of the deceased, who the heir is, whether the deceased has a will, and ensure that it is executed according to law.

b. A witness proves the application for the oath of the relationship between the person and the deceased, the mainland applicant shall provide a notarized certificate proving the relationship between the applicant and the deceased.

c. Death certificate of the deceased.

d. The original certificate that the estate tax has been paid or exempted, and the estate tax shall be attached.

List of the deceased’s estate approved by the Department.

e. If the applicant is not the only beneficiary of the estate, the estate officer has the right to request one or more guarantors to ensure that the undertaker will act in accordance with the law.  

 

(5) The total value of the deceased’s estate does not exceed HK$50,000. After applying for a tax exemption certificate issued by the Estate Tax Office, the applicant can directly apply for simplified undertaking with the High Court.  

5. Extract the inheritance of the deceased. After applying to the High Court for the deceased’s estate management certificate or probate, the undertaker will collect the principal and interest of the deposit in the name of the deceased and the relics in the safe from the relevant bank based on these documents, go through the real estate transfer registration procedures with the Land and Soil Department, and register with the stocks

The office handles matters related to stocks, dividends and bonuses, and then can handle the sale of real estate, stocks, and gold.  

6. Handling and distribution of inheritance. After paying off the debts owed by the deceased during his lifetime and paying the funeral expenses and undertaking expenses, the remaining part of the estate shall be distributed to the legal beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the deceased’s will or intestate legal inheritance.  


Intestate legal heirs stipulated by Hong Kong laws  

1. When the deceased has only a spouse, and no children, parents and siblings, nephews, nieces, nieces, and nieces, all the deceased’s estate will be inherited by the spouse.

2. The deceased has a spouse and children who are still alive. Regardless of whether his parents, brothers or sisters are alive or not, the deceased’s estate will first set aside 50,000 and the annual interest rate at 5%.

From the date of division of the property on the day of the deceased’s death, the spouse will inherit the rest.

Spouses account for half, and children divide the other half equally.

3. The deceased has only a spouse and no children. 

The spouse first inherits 200,000 and the interest is calculated at 5% from the date of the death of the deceased to the time when the property is divided.

The remaining spouses account for half, and the other half is inherited equally by the parents of the deceased.

Those who have died shall be inherited equally by the brothers and sisters of the deceased or their children.  

4. If the deceased has only children without a spouse, the children shall inherit equally.  

5. If the deceased has only parents without children, the parents shall inherit equally.

6. If the deceased has no spouse, children or parents, the distribution of the inheritance is as follows: First, the deceased has siblings or their children to inherit.

If there is no siblings, nephews, or nephews, the grandparents. If there are no grandparents, the siblings of their parents inherit.  

7. If all the above-mentioned persons have passed away, the deceased’s estate shall be confiscated by the government.

However, if there is any person who depends on the deceased’s support, the government may allocate part of the estate to this person according to the circumstances.

According to the priority order of inheritance under Hong Kong law, when intestate death or testamentary death delays the appointment of the executor, Hong Kong law stipulates the priority of the person who has the right to apply to the Hong Kong High Court for the successor of the deceased’s estate:   

1. The deceased’s spouse or 1971 Concubine in Hong Kong before October 7.  

2. The legal children of the deceased (including those born to the deceased’s concubine in Hong Kong before October 7, 1971) or the children of the deceased’s children.  

3. The father or mother of the deceased.  

4. The sibling of the deceased or the children of the siblings who died before the deceased.  

5. Issues that should be paid attention to when handling inheritance in Hong Kong  

 

1. The notarial certificate should be issued objectively and fairly. In recent years, in the handling of inheritance in Hong Kong, there have been several cases of the issue of notarial certificates of different contents issued by several notary offices in the Mainland for an inheritance matter at the same time, and some have led to litigation.

In order to avoid similar situations, if the heir is involved in two or more notary offices, one notary office shall be the main one.

At the same time, the notary office shall strengthen the contact with the inheritance undertaker, and issue relevant notaries according to Hong Kong regulations and the requirements of the undertaker book.  

2. The property of the deceased must be cleaned up in a timely and comprehensive manner. 

There is a time limit for handling inheritance in Hong Kong.

The declaration of inheritance tax to the estate tax office must be completed within one year, otherwise a double fine or overdue interest will be imposed depending on the situation.  

3. The format and content of the notary certificate issued by the notary office shall meet the needs of Hong Kong for inheritance. Due to the differences in the legal system between the Mainland and Hong Kong, it is inevitable that the format and content of the notarial certificate will be broken when the inheritance of Hong Kong inheritance is handled. In this regard, it should be strengthened to ask for instructions. 

As long as the principle is not violated, it should be handled in accordance with the requirements of the inheritor.

 

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