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What Happens to Bank Account When Someone Dies in China? - CFM 101 Series

Tue, 07 Dec 2021
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌


If the owner of a bank account dies, his/her heirs can get the money in the bank account.

When someone dies, who will be his/her heir? Who has the right to inherit his/her property? Please read “When someone dies Who gets his/her property in China?

If you are the heir, how do you get the money in the bank account?

If you know the bank account and its password, you can withdraw the money directly, and share it with other heirs.

But if you can’t withdraw the money, what should you do?

First, you need to obtain the bank account information, then you need to prove your inheritance right to the bank, and finally, the bank will pay you the money in the account at your request.

Original Post: What Happens to Bank Account When Someone Dies in China?

1. Obtain the bank account information

It would ideal if you know what bank accounts the decedent owns.

But if you don’t, you can request a Chinese court to investigate such information for you.

However, this requires you and other heirs to initiate an inheritance dispute lawsuit first.

Then, the court may carry out such an investigation during litigation.

2. Proof of inheritance right

You can prove your inheritance right in the following two ways:

(1) Notarization

You can apply to a Chinese notary office for notarization of the inheritance right, and provide it with the death certificate of the account owner and the kinship certificate between you and the decedent.

If you are not in China, you can apply to the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country for an authenticated death certificate and kinship certificate first, and then go through the notarization of the inheritance right in China.

(2) Litigation

As mentioned above, you and other heirs can lodge a lawsuit for inheritance disputes, that is, to bring a lawsuit before a Chinese court.

Then, the court will decide who has the right to inherit and what property will be inherited.

The court’s judgment can prove your inheritance right.

3. Payment of deposits

You can ask the bank to pay you the deposit that should be inherited by you on the strength of the notarial certificate issued by the notary office or the judgment rendered by the court.



The Cross-border Family Matters 101 Series (‘CFM 101 Series’) provides an introduction to China-related cross-border family matters (marriage and succession), and covers the knowledge essential to cross-border family matter management.


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Photo by Jane Marc on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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