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Legal Guardianship

  1. #33
    kmalia's Avatar
    kmalia is offline Registered User
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    We used a Hong Kong law firm to set up our Advanced Directives and Last Will and Testaments last year, and will be updating those once baby is born.

    We were told, being US Citizens living in Hong Kong, if something should happen to both of us, because we have no family members present in HK, that HK law requires our personal effects be sent to probate here in HK. Once sent to probate, it could take months for HK courts to determine what happens to assets, etc.

    We also assume this means if you have no 'intermediate guardian' established, or have not assigned a local attorney to represent your wishes/interests - your children will also be taken into government care until your next-of-kin (default, paternal grandparents) are contacted and can get to HKG.

    Therefore, we plan on assigning our helper as an 'intermediate guardian' and our lawyers as our 'local representative' - until my mother can get here, as we have decided she will be the permanent legal guardian if something shall happen.

    It is important to have a local attorney be involved, as someone needs to have notarized copies of your will and needs to coordinate with your embassy/consulate and the HK government to make sure things are executed according to your wishes until your next-of-kin can get here. We initially used a firm called Oldham, Li & Nie (http://www.oln-law.com/), but they weren't too familliar with US law, so we plan to look around once baby is born. The US consulate website has a good page with list of firms - http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/acs_attorneys.html

  2. #34
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    thanks for the info... we are in slightly a different position as i'm canadian and my hubby is local chinese...

  3. #35
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Our children's guardian lives in HK so we wouldn't have need for an attorney....I will try and find out if a simple written document will suffice in lieu of a lawyer drawn up will....because that would cost nothing!

  4. #36
    elizaveta is offline Registered User
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    Deed of Guardianship cost

    Dear all,

    FYI: I have been quoted today price for "Deed of Appointment of Guardian" and the "Letter of appointment of temporary caretakes / guardians in HK": 2300 HKD.

    So seems to be way cheaper solution if you do not want to have a will drafted for your HK estate.

  5. #37
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    I have spoken to a lawyer friend (based in UK) and the law for the UK (am pretty sure it is the same in HK, as most HK law based on UK law) is that you do NOT need a lawyer drafted will or letter appointing a guardian.

    You can write the letter yourself, and have it witnessed and it will be perfectly legal and binding.
    However she does advise a lawyer doing it, espec. a will, just to make sure everything is worded right and it makes sense.

    However, while waiting for a lawyer drawn up will/guardian letter, it might be a good idea just to jot down who you would want the guardians to be and have it witnesses, just in case (touch wood!).

  6. #38
    Sucellia is offline Registered User
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    Hello! I am interested in drawn up will/guardian letter for my son. I am wondering does anyone has template (prefer non-complicated one) for it or do you know any website offering free template? My husband and I do not want to hire lawyer to write it........

    Sucellia

  7. #39
    kashismum is offline Registered User
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    It is correct that you don't need a lawyer to draft a will for you. You also do not need banks to issue cheques - you can write one on the back of a napkin if you wish.

    The point is, will such documents be accepted in a court or is there a risk that they may be challenged?

    With something so precious as the lives of our children, isn't it worth investing a few thousand to get the job done properly and minimise the risk of any problems later on?

  8. #40
    pwl
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    Guardians and Wills.

    A number of questions and answers posted above - I would just like to add that one should name their guardians within their Wills, but do a separate Deed for their Temporary Guardians (TG), which they hold. As TG, you can use your amah, (helper), but also put down an Executive Person as well. That person fights off officialdom, while the helper takes care of the children. Guardians can be anyone, but in the event of your death-s, you need to check that they will be able to bring your children into their country. Mostly this is the case, but there are exceptions! If you do not name guardians, the courts will decide who will be the best guardians and so appoint. All for now,
    Professional Wills Ltd - Hong Kong.

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