Death of Taiwan Spouse


Does anyone here know what steps I need to take before and after the death of a Taiwanese spouse? I have read the minute the death certificate is registered the banks here freeze all assets.


No idea, but I’m sorry for your loss. Good luck.


Sorry to hear about that, your JFRV will also end so you need to take necessary steps with your ARC if you want to keep staying in Taiwan.


OK so after a long struggle with lung cancer my wife went peacefully to her heaven. Then the pure hell started before the hospital could even process her body. Two of her sisters told me their mother had a right to inherit half of out property which includes apartments and stocks. I was absolutely shocked at their greed less than an hour after their sister died. Turns out they are partly right though. We had no kids so the mother is a linear heir and can inherit 1/4 to 1/2 of my wife’s property even though I paid for it all. Welcome to Taiwan!!!

Any Americans here who married a Taiwanese you better have a fool-proof will with your spouse’s signature and 3 witnesses, better yet get it notarized at AIT.


Oh yes, my original post was not quite correct. The bank will freeze your deceased spouse’s account AFTER you turn the death certificate into the household registration office and they take 6-7 days to remove the deceased from their registration. In the USA with joint accounts it is simple to remove one person. Here the bank has to change the ownership to the surviving spouse as long as your will specifies.


sorry for your loss. that sounds insanely frustrating. is there anything you can do about it? they sound like the lowest form of life.


Negotiate negotiate negotiate



Sorry for your loss.

I was under the impression that a will wouldn’t stop them from getting their “compulsory portion” under the Civil Code.


Greedy people… Now the true colors is coming out. To everyone here this is a warning get a will with your Taiwanese spouse so this thing won’t happen to you.

I’m sorry for you lose. There are still many selfish people waiting for an opportunity so be careful. Don’t negotiate fight for your right. If they insist just let them know KARMA will be on them.

You cannot negotiate with greedy people because they are heartless. If you negotiate with them they will feel that they really have the right to your wife money. Just let it go if they insist, just leave it to God to judge them.


A post was split to a new topic: From spouse


Sorry for your loss. It is really traumatic to e facing legal issues on top of such a devastating loss. I feel for you.

That said, most cases I know of foreign wives the family takes all, including children. They may inherit the debts though. One I know she kept her daughter but once the family kicked them out - there was a big insurance payout of which she and her daughter never saw a cent. The family never got in touch with them ever again.


Very sorry to hear your loss and the dramas with your in-laws. What the law says is you are entitled to claim half of your combined assets/stocks. The other half is to be inherited, so you get 1/2 and her mother gets 1/2. The above is over simplified formula and based on what you own now is accumulated after your marriage and neither of you has debt. If you could prove you had savings of X amount before getting married, you could exclude it from the above calculation.


Does anybody know WHY Taiwan has the inheritance laws that it does? I get that there is some sort of Confucian sentiment going on here, but that would not explain why (for example) half of the inheritance goes either to the children, OR to the parents, OR to the siblings of the deceased, rather than some combination. Do details like this reflect some sort of familial structure that I’m not grokking?


Correct, Taiwan families are often arranged into households including grandparents and sisters and brothers too.


I get that, but why does the inheritance law select EITHER the children OR the parents OR the siblings, but not all three categories?


it’s not just EITHER. The law sets an order, and if there are heirs of first order, persons of second or later order are not heirs.

Article 1138
Heirs to property other than the spouse come in the following order:
(1) Lineal descendants by blood;
(2) Parents;
(3) Brothers and sisters;
(4) Grandparents.


So, why is that? Wouldn’t a Confucianist start with the grandparents–or rather, the paternal grandfather?


It is largely modeled after German inheritance law just like many other laws in Taiwan, nothing to do with Confucianism, e.g. German law says

According to § 2303 BGB the following persons are entitled to receive a statutory compulsory share if they are excluded from succession by a testamentory disposition:

–the descendants of the deceased
–the spouse
–the parents of the deceased


There still is often a cultural logic to these things, and in Taiwan there is an expectation of support for parents, even a legal expectation of support. I certainly didn’t know it extended beyond death…

I feel really bad for the OP. I hope the mom is a decent person. I don’t know the logistics, but people here may know more about how to negotiate this, about co-owned properties or accounts, etc. I would imagine that it may help to have an intermediary, to try to show kindness to MIL even if you are not feeling it, and to find other people who have been through this and can share their experiences.


For the record:

I think an argument can be made that this principle was found to be in harmony with Chinese culture when the Civil Code was being drafted, so it’s not necessarily incorrect to say Confucian influence was involved, despite the obvious European influence.