On October 22, 2018, Asia Times of Hong Kong published an article, saying: “In Chinese tradition, making a will is a taboo. Nevertheless, people are waiting in line to see a public notary to make a will, and appointments have been booked up to December 2019. Many of the applicants are young people.” In Chinese traditional culture, it is virtually a curse to make a will or to make a pre-arrangement for death. The Chinese believe that talk of death will bring bad luck, and a premature division of properties often leads to family feuds.
Since 2013, Beijing Number one Registration Center of China Will Libraries has provided 100,000 free consultations to people. Approximately 82,000 wills have been completed.
Based on the data from that center, between 2013 and 2017, 64 percent of clients failed to complete the will procedures due to health problems. Some elderly people are going to the center to register for their wills as early as possible while they are still able to make the trip, and the appointments have been allocated up to December 2019.
The report also says that alongside elderly people, many Beijing youths are also making wills. Mr. Lee Zhon Yun, head of a notary office in Beijing, said: “The number of people over 30 years old coming to make wills has increased by 30 percent compared to that of last year.” It is also said that one reason causing the young people to make wills is the concern of their parents. More and more young people have designated their parents as their beneficiaries. They consider their parents to be the most suitable recipients of their properties. Another reason for young people to make wills is the risk from high-stress jobs. They are afraid if they suffer sudden death at work, their properties will be unprotected without a will.
Translated by Jean Chen