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LAW OF SUCCESSION OF THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA

时间:2019-04-06 12:14:08  来源:    作者:    阅读:
  
          Important Notice: (注意事项)
    英文本源自中华人民共和国务院法制局编译, 中国法制出版社出版的《中华人民
共和国涉外法规汇编》(1991年7月版).
    当发生歧意时, 应以法律法规颁布单位发布的中文原文为准.
This  English  document  is  coming  from  "LAWS  AND  REGULATIONS  OF THE
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF  CHINA  GOVERNING  FOREIGN-RELATED  MATTERS" (1991.7)
which  is  compiled  by  the  Brueau  of  Legislative Affairs of the State
Council of  the  People’s Republic of China, and is published by the China
Legal System Publishing House.
In case of discrepancy, the original version in Chinese shall prevail.
 
          Whole Document (法规全文)
LAW OF SUCCESSION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
(Adopted at the Third  Session  of  the  Sixth  National  People’s
Congress, promulgated by Order No. 24 of the  President  of  the  People’s
Republic of China on April 10, 1985, and effective as of October 1, 1985)
 
          Contents
Chapter I     General Provisions
Chapter II    Statutory Succession
Chapter III   Testamentary Succession and Legacy
Chapter IV    Disposition of the Estate
Chapter V     Supplementary Provisions
 
          Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1
This Law is enacted pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of  the
People’s Republic of China with a view to protecting the right of citizens
to inherit private property.
Article 2
Succession begins at the death of a citizen.
Article 3
Estate denotes the lawful property owned by a citizen  personally  at  the
time of his death, which consists of:
(1) his income;
(2) his houses, savings and articles of everyday use;
(3) his forest trees, livestock and poultry;
(4) his cultural objects, books and reference materials;
(5) means of production lawfully owned by him;
(6) his property rights pertaining to copyright and patent rights; and (7)
his other lawful property.
Article 4
Personal benefits accruing from a contract entered into by  an  individual
are heritable in accordance with the provisions of this  Law.  Contracting
by an individual, if permitted by law to be continued  by  the  successor,
shall be treated in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Article 5
Succession shall, after its opening, be handled  in  accordance  with  the
provisions of statutory succession; where  a  will  exists,  it  shall  be
handled in accordance with testamentary succession  or  as  legacy;  where
there is an agreement for legacy in return for support, the  former  shall
be handled in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Article 6
The right to  inheritance  or  legacy  of  a  competent  person  shall  be
exercised on his behalf by his statutory agent.
The right to inheritance or legacy of a person with limited capacity shall
be exercised on his behalf by  his  statutory  agent  or  by  such  person
himself after obtaining the consent of his statutory agent.
Article 7
A successor shall be disinherited upon his commission of any  one  of  the
following acts:
(1) intentional killing of the decedent;
(2) killing any other successor in fighting over the estate;
(3) a serious act of abandoning or maltreating the decedent; or
(4) a serious act of forging, tampering with or destroying the will.
Article 8
The time limit for institution of legal proceedings pertaining to disputes
over the right to inheritance is two years,  counting  from  the  day  the
successor became or should have become aware of the violation of his right
to inheritance. No legal proceedings, however, may be instituted after the
expiration of a period of 20 years from the day succession began.
 
          Chapter II Statutory Succession
Article 9
Males and females are equal in their right to inheritance.
Article 10
The estate of the decedent shall be inherited in the following order:
First in order: spouse, children, parents.
Second in order: brothers and  sisters,  paternal  grandparents,  maternal
grandparents.  When succession opens,  the  successor(s)  first  in  order
shall inherit to the exclusion of the successor(s) second  in  order.  The
successor(s) second in order shall inherit in  default  of  any  successor
first in order.
The "children" referred  to  in  this  Law  include  legitimate  children,
illegitimate children and adopted children, as well as  step-children  who
supported or were supported by the decedent.
The "parents" referred to in this Law include natural parents and adoptive
parents, as well as step-parents who supported or were  supported  by  the
decedent.
The "brothers and sisters" referred to in this Law include blood  brothers
and sisters, brothers and sisters of  half  blood,  adopted  brothers  and
sisters, as well as step-brothers and step-sisters who supported  or  were
supported by the decedent.
Article 11
Where a decedent survived his child, the direct lineal descendants of  the
predeceased child inherit  in  subrogation.  Descendants  who  inherit  in
subrogation generally shall take only the share of the estate their father
or mother was entitled to.
Article 12
Widowed daughters-in-law or sons-in-law  who  have  made  the  predominant
contributions in maintaining their parents-in-law shall,  in  relationship
to their parents-in-law, be regarded as successors first in order.
Article 13
Successors same in order shall, in general, inherit in equal shares.
At the time of distributing the estate, due consideration shall  be  given
to  successors  who  are  unable  to  work  and  have  special   financial
difficulties.
At the time of distributing the  estate,  successors  who  have  made  the
predominant contributions in maintaining the decedent or have  lived  with
the decedent may be given a larger share.
At the time of distributing the estate, successors who had the ability and
were in a position to maintain the decedent but  failed  to  fulfil  their
duties shall be given no share or a smaller share of the estate.
Successors may take unequal shares if  an  agreement  to  that  effect  is
reached among them.
Article 14
An appropriate share of the estate may be given to a person, other than  a
successor, who depended on the support of the decedent and who neither can
work nor has a source of income, or to a person, other than  a  successor,
who was largely responsible for supporting the decedent.
Article 15
Questions  pertaining  to  succession  should  be   dealt   with   through
consultation  by  and  among  the  successors  in  the  spirit  of  mutual
understanding and mutual accommodation, as well as of amity and unity. The
time and mode for partitioning the estate and the shares shall be  decided
by the successors through consultation. If no agreement is reached through
consultation, they  may  apply  to  a  People’s  Mediation  Committee  for
mediation or institute legal proceedings in a people’s court.
 
          Chapter III Testamentary Succession and Legacy
Article 16
A citizen may, by means of a will made in accordance with  the  provisions
of  this  Law,  dispose  of  the  property  he  owns  and  may  appoint  a
testamentary executor for the purpose.  A citizen may, by making  a  will,
designate one or more of the statutory successors to inherit his  personal
property.
A citizen may, by making a will, donate his personal property to the state
or a collective, or bequeath  it  to  persons  other  than  the  statutory
successors.
Article 17
A notarial will is one made by a testator through a notary agency.
A testator-written will is one made in the testator’s own handwriting  and
signed by him, specifying the date of its making.
A will written on behalf of the testator shall be witnessed by two or more
witnesses, of whom one writes the will, dates it and signs it  along  with
the other witness or witnesses and with the testator.
A will made in the form of a sound-recording shall be witnessed by two  or
more witnesses.
A testator may, in an emergency situation, make a nuncupative will,  which
shall be witnessed by two or more witnesses. When the emergency  situation
is over and if the testator is able to make a will in writing  or  in  the
form of a sound-recording, the nuncupative  will  he  has  made  shall  be
invalidated.
Article 18
None of the following persons shall act as a witness of a will:
(1) persons with no capacity or with limited capacity;
(2) successors and legatees; or
(3) persons whose interests are related to those  of  the  successors  and
legatees.
Article 19
Reservation of a necessary portion of an estate shall be made  in  a  will
for a successor who neither can work nor has a source of income.
Article 20
A testator may revoke or alter a will he previously made.
Where several wills that have been  made  conflict  with  one  another  in
content, the last one shall prevail.
A notarial will may not be revoked or altered by a testator-written  will,
a will written on behalf of the testator, a will in the form of  a  sound-
recording or a nuncupative will.
Article 21
Where there are obligations attached to testamentary succession or legacy,
the successor or legatee shall perform them. Anyone who fails  to  perform
the obligations without proper reasons may, upon  request  by  a  relevant
organization  or  individual,  entail  nullification  of  his   right   to
inheritance by a people’s court.
Article 22
Wills made by persons with no capacity or with limited capacity  shall  be
void.  Wills shall manifest the genuine intention of the testators;  those
made under duress or as a result of fraud shall be void.
Forged wills shall be void.
Where a will has been tampered with, the affected parts  of  it  shall  be
void.
 
          Chapter IV Disposition of the Estate
Article 23
After the opening of succession, a successor  who  has  knowledge  of  the
death should promptly notify the other  successors  and  the  testamentary
executor. If one of the successors knows about the death or if there is no
way to make the notification,  the  organization  to  which  the  decedent
belonged before his  death  or  the  residents’  committee  or  villagers’
committee at his place of residence shall make the notification.
Article 24
Anyone who has in his possession the property of the decedent  shall  take
good care of such property and no one is allowed to misappropriate  it  or
contend for it.
Article 25
A successor who, after the opening of  succession,  disclaims  inheritance
should make known his decision before the disposition of  the  estate.  In
the absence of such an indication, he  is  deemed  to  have  accepted  the
inheritance.
A legatee should, within two months from the time he learns of the legacy,
make known whether he accepts it or disclaims it. In the absence  of  such
an indication within the specified period, he is deemed to have disclaimed
the legacy.
Article 26
If a decedent’s estate is partitioned, half of the joint property acquired
by the spouses in the course  of  their  matrimonial  life  shall,  unless
otherwise agreed upon, be first allotted to the surviving spouse as his or
her own property; the remainder shall constitute the decedent’s estate.
If the decedent’s estate is a component part of the common property of his
family, that portion of the property belonging to the other members of the
family shall first be separated at the time of  the  partitioning  of  the
decedent’s estate.
Article 27
Under any of the following circumstances, the part of the estate  affected
shall be dealt with in accordance with statutory succession:
(1) where inheritance is disclaimed by a  testamentary  successor  or  the
legacy is disclaimed by a legatee;
(2) where a testamentary successor is disinherited;
(3) where a testamentary successor or legatee predeceases the testator;
(4) where an invalidated portion of the will involves part of the estate;
or
(5) where no disposition is made under the will for part of the estate.
Article 28
At the time of the partitioning of the estate, reservation shall  be  made
for the share of an unborn child. The share reserved shall, if the baby is
stillborn, be dealt with in accordance with statutory succession.
Article 29
The partitioning of a decedent’s  estate  shall  be  conducted  in  a  way
beneficial to the requirements of production and livelihood; it shall  not
diminish the usefulness of the estate.
If the estate is unsuitable for partitioning, it may  be  disposed  of  by
such means as price evaluation, appropriate compensation or co-ownership.
Article 30
A surviving spouse who remarries is entitled to dispose of the property he
or she has inherited, subject to no interference by any other person.
Article 31
A citizen may enter into a legacy-support agreement with a person who,  in
accordance with the agreement, assumes the duty to support the  former  in
his or her lifetime and attends to his or her interment  after  death,  in
return for the right to legacy.  A citizen may enter into a legacy-support
agreement with  an  organization  under  collective  ownership  which,  in
accordance with the agreement, assumes the duty to support the  former  in
his or her lifetime and attends to his or her interment  after  death,  in
return for the right to legacy.
Article 32
An estate which is left with neither  a  successor  nor  a  legatee  shall
belong to the state or, where the decedent was a member of an organization
under  collective  ownership  before  his  or  her  death,  to   such   an
organization.
Article 33
The successor to an estate shall pay all taxes and debts  payable  by  the
decedent according to law, up to the actual value of such  estate,  unless
the successor pays voluntarily in excess of the limit.
The successor who disclaims inheritance assumes no responsibility for  the
payment of taxes and debts payable by the decedent according to law.
Article 34
The carrying out of a legacy shall not affect the  payment  of  taxes  and
debts payable by the legator according to law.
 
          Chapter V Supplementary Provisions
Article 35
The people’s congress of a national autonomous  area  may,  in  accordance
with the principles of this Law and the  actual  practices  of  the  local
nationality or nationalities with regard to  property  inheritance,  enact
adaptive  or  supplementary  provisions.  Provisions  made  by  autonomous
regions shall be reported  to  the  Standing  Committee  of  the  National
People’s  Congress  for  the  record.  Provisions   made   by   autonomous
prefectures or autonomous counties  shall  become  effective  after  being
reported to and  approved  by  the  standing  committee  of  the  people’s
congress of the relevant  province  or  autonomous  region  and  shall  be
reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s  Congress  for
the record.
Article 36
For inheritance by a Chinese citizen of an  estate  outside  the  People’s
Republic of China or of an estate  of  a  foreigner  within  the  People’s
Republic of China, the law of the place of domicile of the decedent  shall
apply in the case of movable property; in the case of immovable  property,
the law of the place where  the  property  is  located  shall  apply.  For
inheritance by a foreigner of an estate within the  People’s  Republic  of
China or of an estate of a Chinese citizen outside the  People’s  Republic
of China, the law of the place of domicile of the decedent shall apply  in
the case of movable property; in the case of immovable property,  the  law
of the place where the property is located shall apply. Where treaties  or
agreements exist between  the  People’s  Republic  of  China  and  foreign
countries, matters of inheritance shall be handled in accordance with such
treaties or agreements.
Article 37
This Law shall go into effect as of October 1, 1985.
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