No will

What is the situation in Taiwan if your Chinese wife dies without a will.

My wife has adult children from a previous marriage. She tells me a will is unnecessary as the estate will all go to me if I am alive and be divided among her children if I am gone. This matches her (and my) wishes.

Our financial affairs are about to become more complex and I would like to be sure.

Is this true?

I want to know too.

I was under the understanding that a foreign husband does not automatically receive the wife’s estate.

I would suggest that you visit a lawyer and ask if a will established in Taiwan will guarantee a foreign husband’s right to inherit property in Taiwan. I think it never hurts to have a will.

Slightly off topic…but in my contract with my partner, I made sure that my shares in the schools are passed on to my wife in case of my death.

[quote=“Book V Succession, Chapter 1 Heirs to Property, Art. 1138”]Heirs to property other than the spouse come in the following order:

Lineal Descendants by blood

[quote=“Law Governing the Application of Laws to Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements, Art. 1”]With respect to the disposing capacity of a person, the law of his country shall apply.

An alien who has no disposing capacity or has only limited disposing capacity under the law of his country but has disposing capacity under the law of the ROC, shall be considered as having disposing capacity with respect to his juristic act done within the ROC.

The provision of the preceding paragraph shall not apply to the juristic acts under the Family Law or the Law of Succession, or to juristic acts on immovable property in a foreign country.[/quote]

The Law Governing the Application of Laws to Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements doesn’t even appear to contemplate, much less address, the issue of an ROC national leaving property to an alien.

The version of the Law I am looking at may have been updated or amended. I’ll see what I can find out.

Anything new on this - or I need to see a lawyer?

It can be fairly complicated… or rather simple.

OK, I spoke with one of our attorneys… but not at length. But here’s something:

Taiwan uses a system where mariied couples can select one of three marital property regimes or not select any of the three regimes. If a particular property regime is selected, the couple registers their selection with the court and in the event of a divorce, the property is divided among them or in the event of a death of one of the spouses, divided and then made subject to succession.

If none of the three above-indicated marital property regimes is selected, and the HUSBAND is a foreign national (there is no provision in the Taiwan law for a foreign WIFE), then the property will be divided between HUSBAND and WIFE in the case of a divorce, or between HUSBAND and WIFE for the purpose of succession, in the case of WIFE’s death, according to the HUSBAND’s nation’s law.

One of the difficulties in discussing marital poperty and succession with Taiwan attorneys, at least for me (I’m an US attorney), is that some of the English terms used by the Taiwanese lawyers do not have the meaning that they have in the US. For instance, my colleague kept telling me that ownership of a home owned “jointly” by a HUSBAND and WIFE would be divided in half at the death of the WIFE and that HUSBAND would retain ownership of 50% of the home and the WIFE’s 50% ownership would pass (succeed) to her heirs. That is NOT “joint” ownership as defined per US law. That’s some sort of partnership instead.

OK… as I write this more questions keep popping into my head… so I’ll stop here and resume inquiries on Monday, time permitting.

I guess the flip side of this is you should research the law of every country you may possibly ever live or die in.

For instance Australia government would not believe that my sister was the sole executer to my mother’s estate and put enormous hurdles in her way to distrbute my mother’s largest asset - shares in an Australian bank.

My mother lived in NZ and never left it for more than 10days - my sister lives in NZ. Shares in Australian Bank came because my father worked for them for 45 years - in New Zealand

Not sure what to do now - writing a will that is valid in every country you are involved with seems impossible.

Pursuading your Chinese wife to the same exceeds the impossible (the you think too much syndrome)