The inheritance rule in Japan

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

Already, four months have passed since I came back from London to Japan.
Time flies so quickly!
I still miss London a lot but I am coming to terms with my current situation and getting things into perspective.

Today I would like to talk about the Japanese Inheritance procedure.
Japanese law grants an automatic right of inheritance to the surviving partner and children.
An heir should either give an unconditional or qualified acceptance of the inheritance, or renounce their right of succession within three months. If he/she needs to extend the initial three month period, they can ask the family court for an extension of the period.

In most cases it is considered rather good news to inherit the asset of a deceased person. However, if the deceased was heavily indebted, it may be a different story.

If a legal surviving partner who has children renounces their inheritance, then these children will be next in line. If there are no children, then the parents of the deceased will be next in line. Moreover, if there are no children and parents, then the decedent’s brother or sister will be third in line.

Nowadays a lot of Japanese people go abroad for their life and work and the situation is getting complicated. The fact that a child whose parents are Japanese is born in outside of Japan and speaks only English may occur often. I already have the experience of helping those people legally and linguistically.

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