Hong Kong Estate Planning - Summary

Hong Kong Estate Planning, Hong Kong Family Law and Hong Kong Private International Law issues are summarized below:

1. Estate Taxation in Hong Kong

i. Lifetime gifts
There are no gift taxes in Hong Kong.

ii. Inheritance
There is no estate duty in Hong Kong for the application for a grant of representation in respect of deaths occurring on or after 11 February 2006.

iii. Wealth tax
There is no wealth tax in Hong Kong.

2. Succession Planning in Hong Kong
i. Applicable law
Hong Kong follows the common law rules that intestate succession of movable property is governed by the law of the deceased’s domicile at death and, in the case of immovable property by the law of the place where the immovable property is located.

ii. Wills in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, a will is treated as properly executed if it was executed in accordance with the laws of the place of execution, or under the laws of the testator's domicile, habitual residence or nationality.

iii. Testamentary freedom restrictions - forced heirship in Hong Kong
Apart from land in the New Territories that may be affected by Chinese customary law of succession which the courts in Hong Kong have the power to recognize and enforce according to section 13 of the New Territories Ordinance (Cap.97), there is otherwise full testamentary freedom in Hong Kong with no forced heirship regime.

3. Trusts and Foundations in Hong Kong
Trusts are recognized in Hong Kong and their establishment management and administration are governed by both statutes and common law.

There are no private foundations under Hong Kong law. However Charities are recognized and must be established exclusively for one or more of the four heads of charitable purposes.

4. Matrimonial Issues in Hong Kong
There is no matrimonial property regime in Hong Kong. Like most of the common law countries, the separation of property regime is applied.

Civil partnerships are not permitted or recognized in Hong Kong.

Same-sex marriage is not per se permitted or recognized in Hong Kong. But, under the Married Persons Status Ordinance, a married person’s status can apply to a marriage celebrated or contracted outside Hong Kong according to the law in force at the time and in the place where the marriage was performed.

The Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap. 179) states that the sole ground for presenting or making a petition or application for divorce must be that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably”. Proceedings for divorce can be instituted through a petition for divorce or an application for divorce.

For more details of Rosemont’s Estate Planning and International Private Law services see https://rosemont-int.com/en/article/tax-estate-planning/estate-planning-en

Please contact your local Rosemont office for assistance.