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March 22, 2019

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With a will there is a way to avoid family rows

SHANGHAI residents are increasingly willing to make wills as a result of a more open mindset.

More people under 70 are registering their wills with the China Will Registration Center’s Shanghai branch than those in their 70s, 80s and 90s, according to a white paper released by the center yesterday.

Last year more than 43 percent of will registrants in Shanghai were under 70, an increase of 8 percent over 2017.

The proportion of registrants in their 70s was some 35 percent, down by 7 percent from 2017. Elders in their 80s or above were 21 percent of the registrants, a drop of 2 percent from 2017.

Chen Kai, director of the center’s management committee, said the increase was because those just entering old age had a more open mind. The center was also actively encouraging people to prepare wills.

Tian Yan, an official with the Shanghai branch, added: “It’s not only a disposition of their property, but also a responsibility to their families.”

Another trend is that more people are leaving their property to their spouses first and then to the children.

In 2017, more than half of the registrants directed their children inherit their property, while only 5 percent of registrants left the property to their spouses.

Last year the former figure declined to 32 percent while the latter increased to 24 percent.

“More elderly people made such a decision to protect the spouses’ rights and guarantee the spouses’ later life,” Tian said.

Zhang Aoqi, 75, and his wife both have registered wills at the branch.

“Many families have unpleasant disputes which can be avoided (with will registration),” said Zhang.


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