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LGBTIQ+ Wills and Planning

Are you a same sex couple in Hong Kong? If you are then it is vital that you put into place certain legal documents to ensure you and your partner can be recognised to the full extent of the law under the current legal framework.

While recent high profile Court cases have highlighted the legal status of same sex marriages in Hong Kong, the current framework remains to be changed. This can mean that, you and your partner, can become vulnerable to various legal loopholes.

What this means for you and your partner?

  • You may not be allowed to visit your partner/spouse as a relative in hospital.
  • The refusal of your partner/spouse to make certain decisions regarding medical treatment.
  • A partner/spouse left with insufficient funds to pay medical bills, school fees, electrical bills etc… as they cannot access your bank account or assets if you become mentally incapacitated.
  • In the event of the worse, dying “intestate” without your spouse being the next in line to inherit your assets.
  • If you have children with your partner/spouse, you need to ensure they are clearly defined as ‘your children’ in your Will, so they too can inherit.

How we can help

  • It is essential that you have your Wills and estate planning in place, so that your wishes can be accurately reflected. In your Wills you will confirm appointments such as executors and guardians, the distribution of your estate and where necessary, define your children.
  • If you have children, and no immediate family members living in Hong Kong, you should draw up a deed of temporary guardianship. The purpose of this document is to ensure that your children would be looked after by people you know and trust in Hong Kong. These friends or work colleagues would temporarily care for your children, until the permanent guardians could arrive on the scene.
  • It is recommended to put and Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place to appoint your partner/spouse as your attorney. By appointing your partner/spouse as your attorney in this document, it will authorise him/her to legally access your bank accounts and assets if funds are required.
  • If you have strong wishes/feelings regarding irreversible comas or vegetative states, you might consider putting a Living Will in place. In this document you can make your wishes known on how you would want to be treated in either of these situations. You could then appoint your partner/spouse as your healthcare proxy, and s/he would be able to confirm your feelings to the doctor.

Here at Harbour WIlls we help same sex legal couples ensure they are recognised and protected to the full extent that the law will currently allow.

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