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According to a new report released by China Will Registration Centre, more young Chinese people are preparing wills than ever before. According to experts, the coronavirus outbreak has caused more young people to consider death and their belongings.

Pandemic Coronavirus Drives
Image Source: South China Morning Post

The number of will authors born after 1990 increased by 60% from 2019 to 2020, faster than in previous years. Since August, an increasing number of Chinese people living abroad have sought advice from the center in order to organize their assets at home.In a year, the number of inquiries at the center tripled.
An 18-year-old student named Xiaohong (a pseudonym) went to the Centre’s Shanghai branch on Monday to prepare a will for 20,000 yuan (S$4,100) in assets, according to state news agency Xinhua.

“Writing a will is not the end,” the freshman said, adding that she will take life more seriously from now on. It is the start of a new era.”

She said she wanted to donate her savings to a friend who had helped and supported her through a tough time, and she plans to update her will once she has more money.According to the survey, more than 80% of young people plan a will to deal with investments, and at least 70% deal with real estate. Others work with intangible assets like social media accounts.
The center would need to review the will writer’s eligibility, including documentation and general health, before writing a will. The will is normally completed in two appointments.
The China Will Registration Centre is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2013. It has 11 branches and 60 service points across China that offer free will writing services to everyone over the age of 60.
“During the pandemic, young people started to think more. They are wondering what would happen to their assets if they die and who would look after their parents and children,” Yang said. Xiaohu (pseudonym), a late-20s resident of Guangzhou’s southern region, told CCTV that writing a would made her feel “much better.” She stated that she valued people and relationships over material possessions and that she wished to leave a legacy in the event of her death.
“The will helps provide a safety net to my family,” Xiaohu said. “Now I can chase after things I want to do.”Anyone over the age of 18 can write a will in China, and people as young as 16 can do so if they have a source of income.

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However, owing to a cultural aversion to discussing death, will preparation remains a taboo topic for many in China, according to Chen Kai, the director of the centre’s management committee, in an online Q&A session in late March.

The average age of a will writer in China is 67, which is more than double that of European countries.

“Writing a will is not the same thing as death. It might be too late to prepare a will when someone’s health is deteriorating,” Chen said, adding that the centre had to reject many cases due to the poor health of the will writer.

Source: South China Morning Post

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