Why don’t more Japanese write wills?

“In Japan… individuals don’t write wills; they express their wishes in vague and polite terms, but nothing is written down. The property laws specify how the estate should be divided among the family, strictly proportioned according to their relationship to the deceased- fifty percent for the spouse, ten percent for each child, and so forth. The law is used only when families have disputes. Otherwise, all the property goes to one person chosen by family consensus- everyone else signs forms to give up his or her legal claims, as I did. Inheritance is another example of how things are done in Japan: the public law is clear and mathematical; in private practice, families reach consensus without any open discussion”

Polite Lies by Kyoko Mori page 53


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