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Probate

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What will happen to one’s assets when he passes away? Upon death, there needs to be someone to administer the Deceased’s estate. To do so, the executor, which may be appointed by the Deceased in his will or appointed by the court subject to circumstances, will need to apply for a Grant of Representation. 

Whether the Deceased had executed a Will would directly affect the procedures required for the application for a Grant of Representation and the distribution of estate. Therefore, it is necessary to find out whether there was a Will before the commencement of procedures for probate. To do so, you may try:


1.    Searching thoroughly among the belongings of the Deceased
2.    Checking the Deceased’s safe deposit box
3.    Enquiring with the financial or legal consultant of relatives
4.    Conducing a Will Search through the Law Society of Hong Kong

With a Will

The estate will be administered by the executor appointed by the Deceased in his Will. 
The estate will be distributed according to the way stated in the Will.

Documents required when applying for a Grant:
-    The Deceased’s death certificate
-    The original copy of the Will

Without a Will

The estate will be administered by the next-of-kin of the Deceased according to the Intestates’ Estates Ordinance. The surviving spouse will have priority, followed by the children, parents, and siblings of the Deceased. 

The estate will be distributed in accordance with the Intestates’ Estates Ordinance. After the deduction of various expenses, such as taxes and funeral expenses, the estate will be distributed in the following ways:

  • Where the Deceased is married with kid(s)

The spouse can first take a sum of $500,000. The remaining sum will be divided into half, where the spouse will receive one half and the other half will be equally distributed among the children.

  • Where the Deceased is married with no kids

The spouse can first take a sum of $1,000,000. The remaining sum will be divided into half, where the spouse will receive one half and the other half will be equally distributed between the parents. If the parents have already passed away, the amount will be equally distributed between the Deceased’s siblings.

  • Where the Deceased is single

The Deceased’s parents will be entitled to the whole estate. If the parents have already passed away, it will be equally distributed among the siblings.

When there is consent from all the beneficiaries, a family agreement can be prepared by a lawyer to redistribute the estate instead of following the rules above.

Documents required when applying for a Grant: 
-    The Deceased’s death certificate
-    The Deceased’s marriage certificate and proof of divorce (if applicable)
-    Birth certificate of the Deceased’s children (if applicable)

-    Birth certificate of the Deceased where the Deceased is single

Provision for Family and Dependants

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance ( Cap. 481 ) provides a way for person who has been maintained wholly or substantially by the deceased immediately before the deceased’s death to apply for financial provision from deceased’s estate, even if the deceased did not leave any inheritance to his spouse in his will, or the deceased left no will and no legal status of husband or wife exists. 

Our services:

  1. Consultation on probate matters

  2. Preparing documents for Grant of Representation application, administration of oath, and certification of documents

  3. Applying for certified copies of Hong Kong birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, or proof of divorce

  4. Filing the application with the Probate Registry

  5. Applying for inspection of safe deposit box through the Home Affairs Department

  6. Arranging a Will Search through the Law Society of Hong Kong

  7. Representing the estate administrator or executor to enquire about the assets in his accounts through banks or financial institutions

  8. Conducting a land search regarding the properties owned by the Deceased in Hong Kong

  9. Preparing the Schedule of Assets and Liabilities

  10. Handling litigations relating to probate 

  11. Filing a caveat application

  12. Taking the Grant of Representation on your behalf

  13. Drafting and witnessing the signatory of the family agreement for the redistribution of estate

  14. Handling the transfer of ownership of property from estate

  15. Applying for provision for family and dependants

Our service charges:

  • Will search: HK$5,000

  • Transfer of ownership of property from estate: from HK$6,800 

  • Probate: from HK$10,000 (Varies according to the total value and complexity of estate and the availability of required documentation)

Our law firm can help you with going through the complicated process, offering legal advice and handling the required documents, so as to secure your interests and ensure proper distribution of inheritance.

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