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November 27, 2020

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Old man leaves estate to fruit vendor

Zhou Xianchun, the director of the Shanghai Putuo Notary Public Office, has made a determination in the case of an 88-year-old man who gave his property, worth 3 million yuan (US$457,000), to the owner of a fruit stall.

Zhou said yesterday that the notary had communicated with Ma Lin many times in addition to his neighborhood committee before issuing the notarization.

Ma said the stall was one of his favorite haunts. After his wife and son died several years ago, he had invited the owner You and his four family members to live with him.

When the elderly man suffered a fall one day and was found unconscious on the floor, You took him to hospital and looked after him during his recovery.

In 2017, Ma went to the notary office with You to make him his guardian and to give him his property in return.

However, Ma’s relatives heard about the situation from media reports and said they had also taken care of him while he was in hospital.

They challenged the validity of the guardianship because Ma is said to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017.

But Zhou said medical records and the communication between Ma and the notary could not prove that he was of limited mental capacity.

Zhou said the notary had checked Ma’s condition and situation with his neighborhood committee by phone before the notarization.

Zhou said the relatives can submit an application for a review to the notary public office within a year.


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