FAQ

December 9, 2016

Who has to pay inheritance tax in Japan?

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.
January 5, 2017

Are pet owners in Japan responsible for damage caused by their pets?

Owning a pet in Japan requires the owner to exercise good care and judgment in caring for the pet.  The owner of a pet in Japan is generally liable for the damages caused by the animal, including medical bills or property damage, although there are exceptions.
January 27, 2017

When does an heir inherit property during probate in Japan?

Normally, heirs to a deceased in Japan will not inherit any of the deceased’s estate until the probate process is completed.  This ensures that the process is conducted correctly and each heir receives a fair distribution.  However, it is possible to include language in a will that ensures an heir can immediately receive a particular asset without waiting for probate to finish.
February 17, 2017

Is it legal for a will to not leave anything for a spouse or child?

The advantage of drafting a will in Japan is that the drafter can choose who to give his or her assets to and in what amounts.  However, there are limits on how freely property can be distributed after death in Japan.  Japanese law dictates that, regardless of what is stated in a will, spouses and children are entitled to part of the decedent’s estate.  This minimum is set by law and can be claimed by spouses and children upon request to the court.