Subscribe to our newsletter

     By signing up, you agree to our Terms Of Use.


    • About Us
    • |
    • Contribute
    • |
    • Contact Us
    • |
    • Sitemap

    Property to Virtual Assets, More Young Chinese Drafting Wills: Report

    The report shows that the average household assets of individuals making wills have increased over the past three years, rising 18.8% between 2021 and 2023.
    Mar 22, 2024#family#economy

    Signaling a shift toward earlier financial planning and estate management, a new report reveals that more young Chinese are actively participating in making wills. The report documents a drop in the average age of people drafting wills and an uptick in consultations and registrations, fueled by decades of economic development and household wealth accumulation.

    The report, released by the China Will Registration Center on Thursday, also highlights how virtual property has become an integral part of estate planning: Assets such as online payment accounts, game accounts, and virtual currencies are increasingly featured in wills.

    Between 2017 and 2023, the Center received 488 wills involving virtual assets, with Beijing, Shanghai, and the southern Guangdong province accounting for over 89% of the total.

    According to the data, the average age of individuals drafting wills decreased from 77.43 years in 2018 to 67.82 years in 2023, particularly with more young and middle-aged individuals showing a growing participation in making wills. Among this demographic, consultations rose from 931 in 2017 to 17,101 in 2023, while the act of storing wills surged 24.5-fold in the same period.

    Established in 2013 as a public welfare initiative, the China Will Registration Center now has over 60 service centers across the country. To date, it has provided will services to more than 479,000 individuals, registering and safeguarding over 310,000 wills, a trend bolstered by decades of economic reforms, development, and an increase in household wealth. Since 2019, the Center has released an annual report detailing trends in estate planning.

    The Center’s report also shows that the average household assets of individuals making wills have increased over the past three years, rising from nearly 6.3 million yuan ($871,900) in 2021 to over 7.4 million yuan in 2023 — an 18.8% increase.

    The growth reflects not just wealth accumulation but more diversified assets being included in wills. Among individuals over 60, the distribution includes real estate, bank deposits, company shares, securities funds, financial management contracts, and valuable collections.

    And among younger and middle-aged groups, real estate dominates the assets listed in wills, accounting for over 97% of registered property types, with bank deposits following at 35.5%.

    According to the report, as societal attitudes toward marriage continue to evolve, more unmarried individuals have been preparing wills since 2017, with women making up nearly 70% of this group.

    In 2020, the center launched a will-making mini-app on the super-app WeChat, helping create 97,347 wills on the platform since. Data shows that young Chinese preferred this service, with those under 20 making up 26% and the 20-29 age group accounting for 35%.

    Despite the lack of legal standing, over 1,000 wills were created on WeChat daily at its peak. The platform allows users to schedule specific times for the China Will Registration Center to deliver messages to designated recipients.

    Editor: Apurva.

    (Header image: VCG)