A client from UK called me a while ago asking about whether it is better to include his China real properties in his will made in UK or he should prepare a separate will for his China assets.
I have seen a lot of discussion and articles on Internet regarding such a topic. However, I believe there may not a one-size-for-all solution. Sufficient regard shall be given to client’s specific situation when analyzing and giving advice.
Since the client has domicile and habitual residence in UK, not in China, the law governing the will is English law, which makes it difficult for China notary offices and courts to decide on the validity of the will made in UK. However, if the will is duly probated in UK and affirmed as valid by UK courts, then that will basically clear the way for the will to be recognized in China.
So if we prepare a separate will for his China assets only, then upon death of the client, is it possible to have UK court probate his will made only for China assets? Our team research found that in Australia there is a rule saying local courts won’t admit such a will into probate proceeding if there is no local estate under the will.
If it can be probated, then a separate will can be a good idea assuming the probate proceeding for such a will could be quick before a grant of probate is issued.
Thanks in advance.
Shanghai Landing Law Office