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在考慮怎樣寫平安紙之前,有某些事您可能要先想清楚。舉例說,如果遺產受益人還未夠18 歲,您可以在平安紙寫明,等他到了某個年紀,才可以繼承遺產,期間遺產代理人會代為托管這筆遺產。如果遺產受益人因為殘疾不能夠照顧自己,您也可以在平安紙上委任信託人,代為管理他繼承到的那一筆財產。除了如何分配遺產之外,平安紙亦可以交代您想如何安排身後事。






Who is responsible for distributing and administering your estate?


When you pass away, your estate will be administered by your personal representative until your estate is fully administered and distributed. In general, your personal representative has to obtain a grant from the Probate Registry of the High Court before he or she can duly administer your assets.

With a will

According to section 25 of the Probate and Administration Ordinance (Cap. 10), you can appoint in your will the person or persons (up to four) whom you trust to be your personal representative(s). A person so appointed is called an “executor” if he is a male or, if female, an “executrix”. To be an executor, one has to have reached the age of 21. Therefore, you are advised not to appoint too young a person to be your executor/executrix, or else if that person has yet to reach the age of 21 when you pass away, he/she may not be allowed to take up the role of your executor right away (section 39 of the Probate and Administration Ordinance (Cap. 10)). Your executor can also be a beneficiary of your estate (but these two roles are different and should be specified in your will). You can even specify in the will that you will offer a remuneration to the executor. You may appoint a family member(s) or friend(s) whom you trust to be your executor. If he/she does not want to execute the will himself/herself, he/she can appoint a solicitor to do it for him/her. Another option is to appoint professionals, such as solicitors or accountants. If, for example, you are worried that the administration or distribution of your estate would lead to quarrels between your family members, you may consider appointing professionals whom you trust to be the primary or sole executor so as to reduce the chance of any disputes.

If more than one executor is appointed, it must be specified whether they are alternative appointments. If they are alternative appointments, the alternative executor would have the authority to execute your will only if the original executor is unwilling or unable to do so. If they are not alternative appointments, it is necessary to indicate whether the executors must execute the will jointly or whether any one of them can execute it alone.”

Generally speaking, the court will grant the duty of executor to the person(s) that you choose. It is advisable for you to obtain consent from the person(s) you intend to appoint as executor(s) before you appoint them, so as to avoid them subsequently refusing to take up the job.

After making a will, it is important to tell the executor where you keep the original copy of your will to ensure that the executor can locate and execute your original will in the future.

To make it easier for the executor to locate and dispose of your assets in the future, you can prepare a list of your assets and keep it with your will. You can also update this list as often as you like without having to revise the will each time.

Without a will / without an executor

If you have not made a will, or if you have not appointed an executor in your will, or if the person you appointed is unable or unwilling to take up the job, according to Rule 21 of the Non Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A), the court may grant that the following people be appointed to be your personal representative, in the following order of priority. If male, a person so appointed is called an “administrator” or, if female, an “administratrix”.

  1. Your surviving husband or wife or your concubine made before 7th October 1971;
  2. Your children, or if they pass away before you, their descendants.
  3. Your father or mother;
  4. Your brothers or sisters, or if they pass away before you, their descendants.

You are allowed to appoint up to four administrators for an estate, and they must have reached the age of 21. If persons of the same rank of priority are in dispute, they may apply to the High Court for determination (Rule 25 of the Non Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A)). The court has the power to grant to a person beyond the above priority list to be the administrator of your estate. If, for example, the persons on the above priority list are all mentally or physically incompetent by the time you pass away, or they are in heated dispute, the court may appoint an independent professional to be the administrator of your estate (Rule 26 of the Non Contentious Probate Rules (Cap. 10A)).

Both executors and administrators are personal representatives of your estate and their powers are more or less the same.