We recommend you make a Will for your Japanese properties in Japan.
Demerits if you don’t leave a Japanese Will
1 If you leave no Will, all statutory heirs shall share the Japanese property. The division method of the Japanese property is in accordance with the applicable country’s law. To determine the applicable law, we have to search for Japnese law and your country’s law. Additionally, we have to contact all heirs and collect documents which prove the relationship between you and all of your heirs. For the inheritance procedure of Japanese property, your heirs have to hire a lawyer in Japan and they charge extra fee for complicated task.
2 If you make a Will only in your country, you must submit the Will to the public authorities of your country. There is a possibility that it will take a long time, and the procedure for real estate in Japan will be delayed. The probate often takes time from 1 to 3 years in some countries.
3 Different countries and states may have different statutory heirs, so there possibly are cases where real estate may be inherited by someone other than the statutory heirs of your country. e.g. Chinese legal heirs are basically spouses, children, parents and (possibly) children’s spouses. But in Japan, basically, just spouses and children are heirs. ※ in case that the decedent has spouses and children
4 Lack of understanding about international inheritance by Japanese judge, registrar and public authorities. There are few officials who are familiar with the inheritance of foreigners. For that reason, it takes more time and heirs need to collect a lot of documents to prove they are true heirs without a Will or with foreign Will. So Decision making in Japanese public authorities is much faster if you make Japanese Will.
What you have to do for making a Will
1. Make a draft of a Will
2. Send drafts to Notary Public
3. Chose 2 witnesses
4. You and 2 witnesses visit notary public and
confirm the contents of a Will and then
sign on the Will