In Japan, inheritance tax is charged against the beneficiary receiving the inheritance. This is in contrast to other countries where the estate is taxed before being divided among the heirs. Therefore, because the tax is charged based upon the asset each heir receives, the amount of tax each heir owns will necessarily be different.
Like most countries, Japan levies a tax on inheritance for estates probated in Japan. This tax is progressive, so the amount of tax that is charged increases according to the value of asset received by each heir. For example, the first 10 million yen received by an heir will be taxed at 10%, the amounts from 10 to 30 million yen will be taxed at 15%, etc., up to amounts over 600 million, which will be taxed at 55%.
In Japan, either legal scriveners or attorneys are licensed to help probate the estate of a deceased by contacting heirs, creating an asset list and dividing property. However, only attorneys are licensed to appear in court in Japan. Therefore, if a disagreement arises during the probate process, it is always better to have an attorney involved to ensure that the heirs’ rights can be protected even in litigation.
Often the estate of a deceased will contain more than just money. In many cases, a car, boat, house or expensive jewelry will need to be distributed among the heirs. This can create a problem where each heir owns only a portion of an indivisible object, such as a car or home, and the heirs cannot decide what to do with it. Under these circumstances it is best if the heirs are able to agree to a voluntary settlement to share or sell the property.