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Many people think it's ominous to talk about death. But just like life planning, making a will and funeral arrangements are necessary because this means you will have the funeral you want, and your loved ones will be taken care of.

Making a will

A will is a legal document saying what happens to you when you pass away, and how your assets and property will be divided. A will does not have a set form, but attention must be paid to the following:

  • Who will be the executor (this can be from one to four people) that will manage and distribute your assets and property?
  • Who will be the beneficiary or beneficiaries? How the assets and property be divided?
  • What are the funeral arrangements?
  • Place of domicile: You can specify your place and right of abode. The law of your place of domicile will apply to your estate. In case you have not specified your place of domicile, your father's domicile at the time of your birth will apply.
  • You can make a will yourself under Hong Kong law (section 5 and 10 of the Wills Ordinance). However, to make sure it is legally valid, you should consult a lawyer.
  • If you own a property with someone else in the form of joint tenancy, when one of the owners dies the property is automatically inherited by the surviving joint owner or owners and it cannot be given away in your will.

Life insurance and estate planning

Aside from making a will you can also consider life insurance as part of your estate planning. You can name the beneficiary or beneficiaries (spouse, partner, parents or children) who will get the compensation from your insurance policy

  • You can choose one or more beneficiaries and the amount of compensation they should get.
  • Note that life insurance has restrictions. 

If you don’t make a will

Without a will, your assets and property will be shared out according to the Intestates' Estates Ordinance. An order of priority is applied to those who are entitled to inherit your assets or property. In other words, the distribution may not be in line with your preferences.