International Inheritance Laws

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Inheritance Laws of Japan
Alicia Primo

Inheritance Laws of Japan

Inhabitants of Japan are allowed to make wills in which the age of testamentary capacity in Japan is 15 years or older. If there is no will the property is disposed under the Japanese Civil Code for a decedent with Japanese nationality. It may be necessary to hire an attorney in Japan in order to take care of document preparations. There are many probate attorneys that are specified in this field and many other areas of law in Japan. One popular Law Firm is A&C International, Sogo Jimusho, located in Tokyo, Japan. For more information visit this link, ULR The Japanese Civil Code inheritance law applies to a decedent who has Japanese nationality, where his/her property is located. If the decedent dies testate, the inheritance shall be administered according to what’s stated in the will. If the decedent dies intestate then succession shall be determined according to the Japanese civil Code law. All properties are transferred to the heirs at the death. According to the civil law, the spouse, issue, the linear ascendants (parents and/or grandparents) and siblings of the decedent are the legal heirs. An illegitimate child shall also be a legal heir if the decedent had made an acknowledgement of paternity prior death, etc. Under the Japanese Civil Law if the Testator dies without a will one half is distributed to the surviving spouse and issue if they are heirs. If the decedent surviving spouse and linear ascendant are heirs, the spouse shall inherit 2/3 and the remaining 1/3 shall be inherited by the linear ascendants. If the decedent has a surviving spouse and siblings are heirs, the spouse shall receive 3 quarters and the remaining quarter goes to the siblings. If there are two or more of the above mentioned heirs the inheritance share shall be equally divided. An illegitimate child whose paternity was acknowledged prior death shall inherit half of what the legitimate child inherits. "Civil Code (Part IV and Part V)." Japanese Law Translation. N.p., 01 Apr. 2009. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <>. However, New York Laws are slightly different in which the age of testamentary capacity to make a will is 18 years or older. You may draft your own will or have a probate attorney draft it. According to the Estates, Powers and Trusts Laws (EPTL), if ones property is not disposed in a will it goes under the laws of Intestacy. Under the Intestacy laws the surviving spouse gets fifty thousand dollars plus one-half and the remainder is distributed to the issue by representation. If there is a surviving spouse and no issue, the whole to the surviving spouse. If there is an issue and no spouse, all goes to the issue by representation. No spouse and issue but one or both parents, the whole to the parent(s) .No surviving spouse, issue or parent(s) but siblings or the issue of siblings the whole to the siblings by representation. No surviving spouse, issue, parent(s) and siblings or their issue, one-half goes to the maternal grandparents and one-half goes to the paternal grandparents. If there are no grandparents on one side that half goes to their issue, or to their issue first cousins.  Illegitimate children may also inherit from decedent if there is prove of paternity. New York EPTL Section 4-1.1. (a) (1-7) (Consol. 2012).