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More about wills

  1. #1
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    More about wills

    Just to continue my thread from before a little bit...

    So, I found out that it`s basically 10 X more expensive to make a will here in HK than where I am from. Therefore, I want to make one back in Canada during my next trip there. I have been given a bit of discouraging advice from a friend (via her lawyer boss), but I want to pursue this because of the vast difference in cost. And I cannot understand why another common law country`s will would not be upheld here. By the way, all my assets are monetary and in Canada. I have quite a simple situation in that regard.

    I assume that many/some of you already moved to HK with a will made in your (common law only pls) country, yes? Do you know if that is perfectly fine and your will will be honoured by HK in the event of your death?
    And if so, where is your will kept, and if you and your spouse die together, how will it be found to be upheld?

    Sorry for my tedious questions, I can`t seem to find any `legal help` website on the net, and I can hopefully save hundreds of consultation dollars.
    Thanks~

  2. #2
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    We are at the same place as I have been doing similar research!

    My investigations have shown that a will made in Australia (and I think Canada would be the same) is valid here in HK as long as it takes into account your HK assets.

    We need to make an amendment to ours to nominate a temporary guardian should something happen to us while we are living in HK but other than that our Australian Will is covered and is adhered to. I need to go down this path but have not yet had the guts to ask the person I want to be that temporary guardian...

    At least that is what my current research says. If you Google self wills in Hong Kong you will find companies that list the 'countries' their will covers and Australia and Hong Kong (and Canada too) are on the list.

    I obviously need to pay to get 'legal' advice but I am sure when you get it done in Canada they will be able to reassure you.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    I think part of the problem with an overseas will is that it might be slower to get probate in HK. I don't know much about wills, but I think that you might have to get probate in your common law country first before you get probate in HK. Your executors would not be allowed to do anything with your estate in HK until they got HK probate. My friend's parent died in Canada but has property here and there seemed to be a fair number of hoops to jump through (like getting the certified copies of Canadian probate) to get probate here in HK. This would probably be worth looking into more as it might affect your guardianship plans.

  4. #4
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    Temporary guardianship codical to the will would be done in HK so I do not see that as an issue. The temporary guardian has one role -- get my kids out of the country on the next flight. They then have eight hours to arrange for someone to pick them up at the other end and they will then be paid for it. My kids will NOT spend ANY time in State care.

    Everything else I am not concerned with in terms of hoops. As long as the kids get the money (which they are not likely to if we did not have a will or if it were not valid in HK) then they will be cared for by family until it is cleared.

    Sorry Shenzhennifer - have hijacked your thread.

  5. #5
    Panda2010 is offline Registered User
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    1. Your canadian Will will cover your worldwide assets. The only thing is that your Executors will need to get probate first in Canada and then Probate in HK. but you have already said that you dont have anything in HK (I assume you have a bank account in HK which will need closing) but if there is no rush for that money then its ok.
    2. Your Canadian Will will appoint guardians. It is their job to take care of your kids. One situation is that they fly to HK to collect your kids. The time between your death (sorry for being blunt) and them arriving in HK is the issue. So you need to appoint a temporary guardian in HK and to do this, you need a HK Will. You could simply write this yourself if you wanted to.
    3. You can keep your original Will but make sure that your Executors know where it is or you can even provide them with a copy. Or you can leave it in storage with the law firm you use in Canada.
    4. It is your Executors job to uphold your wishes. Make sure you choose someone you trust!!

  6. #6
    Michelle2009 is offline Registered User
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    My father, a HK permanent resident who retired to South Africa, passed away there about a year ago. He had a will made under South African law. We had to get the equivalent of probate in SA first, and now we are applying for probate in HK as my father had assets over a particular amount in HK. The process is quite time consuming as all the foreign documents had to be authenticated but we have found the local probate registry to be very helpful. There is no indication that his wishes will not be honoured in accordance with his will in respect of the HK assets.

    My father always ensured that my brother and I had a copy of my parent's will and that we also knew where the original was in the event of his/their passing, and a copy was also kept with the lawyer who drafted it.

    Q13 of the Q&A of the local probate registry is helpful:-
    Court Services & Facilities

  7. #7
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your replies and your knowledge and experience. I think that it sounds like I can have it done in Canada.

    Oze_kid - looks like we're in the same position. But I'm surprised that you plan to have your temp guardians fly the kids back? I plan it the other way around, where my executor would fly out here. I've been told about the codicil that I need to have and also plan to have it done in HK as an addition to my will, which I can hopefully have done in Canada. I don't think the codicil is too expensive, from what I remember.

    Portia - I see what you mean about thing taking longer because of having to get probate in my country first. But actually, since our estate would go in trust to our child(ren) anyway, time is not of the essence. We will have temporary guardians appointed here though.

    Panda2010 - thanks for the facts there. Actually we do have assets here(monetary only) in our HK bank acct but it's a joint account so I don't count it as my own - I'm more concerned with the bank acct back home. I agree that my executor can keep a copy of the will, as well as the lawyer's office where I will write it.

    Michelle2009 - thanks a lot for that link. I haven't managed to find something like that. I will go through it.

  8. #8
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    Just a quick one. The executor of the Will would probably fly over but it is a 9 hour flight and I don't want my kids to go into care as they would have been through enough. Putting them on a plane gets them home to all our family where they can start settling into a new life immediately instead of dragging out things in HK. our insurance covers 'repatriation' so funerals and the like would take place back in Oz too so it makes sense that everyone head back and the 'things' such as bank accounts, belongings and the like follow.

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