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How Long Does A Heir Have to Claim Inheritance in China?

Succession begins when a person dies or is declared dead.

(1) Where a successor does not indicate to disclaim inheritance within 60 days from the commencement of inheritance, he/she shall be deemed to have accepted the inheritance.

Any successor who, after the start of succession, disclaims inheritance shall, before the disposition of the estate, indicate in writing his/her disclaimer. In the absence of such an indication, he/she is deemed to have accepted the inheritance.

(2) Where the legatee fails to manifest his/her intent to accept the legacy within 60 days after the start of the succession, he/she shall be deemed to have disclaimed the legacy.

The legatee shall, within 60 days after becoming aware of the legacy, make an indication to accept or disclaim the legacy; if he/she fails to do so at the expiration of the time limit, he/she shall be deemed to have disclaimed the legacy.

Who is the legatee?

If a decedent makes a will and donates his/her personal property to organizations or individuals other than the State, the collective economic organizations to which the decedent belongs or his/her intestate successors, such organizations or individuals shall be the legatees.

Intestate successors refer to spouses, children, parents, siblings, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandparents of the deceased.


Reference: Article 1 of the Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court on the Application of the Succession Part of the Civil Code of the People's Republic of China (I); Article 1124 of the Civil Code.


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Cover Photo by ZHENG XIN ( on Unsplash


Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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