FAQ

September 8, 2016

What happens after an arrest in Japan?

Japanese law allows the police to detain a suspect after arrest for up to 48 hours.  During this period, the police must inform the suspect of the crime he or she is suspected of having committed, of the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer (provided for free if the suspect does not have the money).  In the case of foreign suspects, the police should also ask if the suspect would like his or her consulate informed of the arrest.  Before the 48 hours expire, the police also must choose whether to refer the suspect and supporting evidence […]
October 7, 2016

What happens when heirs in Japan can’t decide what to do with inherited property?

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. 
October 28, 2016

Why is it better to hire an attorney for probate in Japan?

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.
November 16, 2016

How do inheritance taxes work in Japan?

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%.