More than 25,000 file their final wills in Shenzhen

Writer: Windy Shao  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-06

Over 25,000 citizens had filed their last will and testament at the Shenzhen Will Registration Center as of March 15 this year, reported yesterday.

In recent years, the age range for testators has expanded, from youths in their 20s to centenarians. The age of testators has become younger year by year, and married people with multiple children still account for most testators, the report said.

The total number of registered wills at the Shenzhen Will Registration Center hit 25,673 as of March 15, with the youngest testator aged 22 and the oldest aged 100 years old.

The number of testators aged below 60 is 7,118, accounting for 27.73% of the total. The number of those aged between 61 and 70 is 11,014, accounting for 42.9% and the number of those aged between 71 and 80 is 4,904, accounting for 19.1%, while those aged 81 and above is 2,637, accounting for 10.27%.

It is worth noting that for the first time in 2022, the number of testators under the age of 60 exceeds those aged above 60. This reflects the enhancement of wealth planning awareness among the younger generation, according to the report.

Testators below 40 know more about will registration and have stronger awareness of early planning of wealth, said Zhou Siqi, project leader of the Shenzhen Will Registration Center.

Due to external pressures such as anxieties on marriage, money and physical health, more young people want to prevent unexpected situations in advance. Therefore, the proportion of young testators is increasing year by year, the report said.

In 2022, 90% of registered wills involved real estate, and 59% involved cash related movable property such as deposits, stocks and wealth management products. The proportion of other types of movable property such as vehicles, company equity and precious collectibles is less than 10%, data from the Shenzhen Will Registration Center showed.

The national average age of testators also continues to decline, reported, citing a white paper released by the China Will Registration Center (CWRC) on March 21.

The paper showed a change in social perceptions of wills. During the past decade, the average age of testators dropped to 68.13 from 77.43.

According to the white paper, “preventing property from becoming unaccounted for” is the main risk considered by people under 30 who make wills.

Talking about death has long been considered a cultural taboo in China, but more young people begin to embrace an open attitude toward the inevitable and are fine with writing their last wills while being young and healthy, Xinhua reported.

One feature of such young people’s testament is the listing of virtual assets, such as game accounts that contain characters, weapons and armor in virtual reality.

As of the end of 2022, the CWRC had received 458 wills involving virtual assets, one-sixth of which were about online game accounts.