FAQ

August 7, 2017

Are there any bike safety laws in Japan?

Japanese law mandates that certain safety equipment should be prepared before riding a bike in Japan. Neglecting to use headlights on a bicycle between sunset and sunrise could result in a fine up to 50,000 yen.  Also, children should always have a helmet, whether they are driving the bike or merely riding in the back seat.
August 31, 2017

Is it possible to leave property to a pet in a will?

It is not uncommon for people to find themselves in the twilight years of their life to worry that their pet may outlive them.  People in these circumstances will naturally worry about who will take care of their pet after their death and wish to provide the necessary assets to ensure that their pet can continue to live a comfortable life even after its owner’s passing.  However, it is not possible to leave assets to a pet through a will in Japan.  Japanese probate laws mandate that the recipient of assets from a will must be a “person.”  Furthermore, pets […]
September 25, 2017

Can spouses always claim part of an estate in Japan?

Even if a deceased writes a will that excludes a spouse or child, under Japanese law, a spouse can almost always claim a portion of the estate by right.  This portion may not be as large as the spouse would have received if there had been no will at all, but this provision is meant to ensure that spouses will always receive something upon the death of their partner.
October 17, 2017

How do you determine the location of assets in an inheritance?

In order to determine inheritance tax in Japan, the location of the inherited asset plays an important role.  Determining this location is relatively simple for some types of assets.  For example, real property and personal property are located where they exist.  However, for less tangible assets, like bank accounts, that can be accessed from around the world, the situation is more complicated.