Korean Wills: Korean Estate Law Basics

Like in most jurisdictions, the recognition of a will by a court of law requires precise formalities.  We advise that most people have a will.  For individuals with wills that shall be governed by Korean Law the formalities are noted below.  We have omitted two forms of wills – a will by audio recording and dictation. These types of wills pose issues of authentication of the decadent and we believe it is not advisable – in most cases. Korean Holographic Wills A Holographic will is a handwritten will.  For a holographic will to be enforceable in Korea the will should meet the following formalities: Written by the decadent Dated Signed Note the decadents name and address Sealed or contain a thumbprint. Additional details on holographic will may be found at: Korean Holographic Wills  Korean Notarized Wills Will is executed before a Korean notary Two witnesses should be present at the notary

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Renouncing an Estate/Inheritance under Korean Law

A typical matter of a party renouncing an estate in Korea commences when a family member in Korea requests the waiver/disclaimer of the right to a Korean inheritance.  Sometimes the waiver is for a valid reason and sometimes the Korean-based family does not have a legitimate reason for the waiver other than self-interest. A, typical, situation involves an estate of a Korean national decadent with non-Korean family abroad.  The estate, often, includes assets in Korea and sometimes abroad. The Korean-based family, often, requests the non-Korean based family to sign a power of attorney or a document waiving the estate, thus, granting the Korean-based family total control over the estate without any guarantees of payment of the proceeds of the estate for the foreign-based family members. For a basic understanding of Korean Interstate Succession Law and Korean Inheritance Law see: Korean Inheritance Law.  The post provides a basic explanation of what

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Korean Inheritance Law: Who Inherits What, When & How in Korea?

If a decadent, governed by Korea’s Inheritance Law, dies without a will (intestate succession) the estate of decadent shall pass according to Korea’s Intestate Succession Law.  The key points of Korean Intestate Succession Law and Korean Inheritance Law is noted below.  We deal with many cases, at our law firm in Korea, where a Korean family member requests a U.S. or European family member to disclaim an inheritance.  Normally, a form is provided to the foreign family member.  We suggest understanding the situation and understanding what you are disclaiming.  For an article on this issue please see: Disclaiming an Inheritance & Renouncing an Estate in Korea.  Korean Intestate Succession Law Priorities under Korea’s Intestate Succession Law:  Direct descendants (children and grandchildren); Direct ascendants (parents and grandparents); Siblings (brothers and sisters); and Relatives within the 4th Degree. If a spouse survives the decadent and descendants survive within the First or Second

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Korea Notarizations, Apostille, Powers of Attorney, Consularizations, Legalizations of Korean Translations and Documents

Our Korean lawyers at our law firm in Korea receive numerous emails requesting our services in assisting with either legalization of a Korean translation for use in court, authentication, notarization or apostille of a Korean, Chinese, American, British, French, German, Russian or other country document for either use in Korea or use in another country. We, normally, receive these calls from fellow attorneys, a financial institution or an individual with the need for an important document to be “legalized” for an important transaction.  Many times these documents are required for foreign or Korean courts, administrative agencies and quasi-government institutions.  Usually, the person contacting us believes the procedure shall take a trivial amount of time. Usually the party contacting us believes that we can just stamp the document and the matter is complete. We wish things were so easy. Often getting documents recognized by a Korean government entity or recognized by

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Korean Trust Act of 1961 Amended

The 1961 Korea Trust Act has been criticized as being an archaic law that does not reflect generally accepted international trust standards and practices.  The revised Korean trust law was passed to alleviate many of the problems of the old Korean Trust Law.  The new law in Korea will came into effect in July of 2012.  This post is a revised version of a post that was first posted in 2012. The most significant changes to Korea’s Trust Act are listed below. The new Korea Trust Law allows the designation of a settlor as a trustee.  The trustee, however, will be unable to windup the Korean trust and will be required to meet specific formalities when executing the powers as a trustee. The new Trust Law of Korea allows for beneficiary certificates to be issued by the Korean trust. The new Korean Trust Law allows the the trust to issue

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