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Are Grandchildren Legal Heirs in China?

The answer is No, except in some special circumstances.

The decedent may make a will and distribute the property to his/her grandchildren, who, therefore, will have the right to inheritance in accordance with the will.

If the decedent does not make a will, the estate will be distributed pursuant to the rules of intestate succession. In this case, the grandchildren usually do not have the right to inheritance, and the parents of the grandchildren, i.e., the children of the decedent, have the right to inheritance.

Specifically, in the case of intestate succession, the estate will be inherited in the following orders:

(1)First-order inheritors(heirs), spouse, children, and parents;

(2)Second-order inheritors: siblings, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents.

When succession opens(begins), the first-order inheritor(s) shall inherit to the exclusion of the second-order inheritor(s). The second-order inheritor(s) shall inherit the estate in default of any first-order inheritor. In general, inheritor(s) in the same order shall inherit in equal proportions.

However, if the child of the decedent dies before the decedent, that is, the parents of the grandchildren die before the deceased grandparents, the grandchildren can acquire the inheritance right of their parents and directly inherit the estate of their grandparents.



Reference: Article 1128 of the Civil Code



Cover Photo by vigor poodo

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Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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