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Brazil: Civil Code Amended to Exclude Heirs Who Kill for Inheritance

(Nov. 21, 2017) On November 9, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the bill of law No. 9/2017, which amends the Civil Code to allow the Public Prosecutor’s Office to request the withdrawal of inheritance rights from heirs who have been the perpetrators of intentional homicide or attempted murder against the person who left the […]

Tunisia: Government Lifts Ban on Inter-Religious Marriages

(Sept. 19, 2017) On September 14, 2017, the Tunisian government lifted a ban on inter-religious marriages between Muslim Tunisian females and non-Muslim males. (Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslims, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 14, 2017).) This measure was issued by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.  During his speech on the national Women’s Day that […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Rules All Couples Have the Same Inheritance Rights

(May 17, 2017) In a ruling issued on May 10, 2017, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) determined that, for the purpose of inheritance rights, “stable unions” and marriages have the same legal value, providing partners in stable unions the same rights as those of  married persons.  (STF, Recurso Extraordinário (RE) 646721, […]

Japan: Adoption of Grandchild in Order to Save on Inheritance Tax Can Be Valid

(Feb. 23, 2017) Japan’s Supreme Court decided, on January 31, 2017, that adoption of a grandchild can be valid even if the main purpose of the adoption is to save part of the heirs’ inheritance tax upon the grandparent’s death.  (Heisei 28 (ju) 1255, S. Ct. (Jan. 31, 2017), COURTS IN JAPAN (click on the […]

Germany: Court Clarifies Requirements for Living Wills and Durable Healthcare Powers of Attorney

(Sept. 30, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that a statement in a patient’s living will that “I do not wish to receive life-prolonging treatments” was not sufficient to legally bind a patient’s representative to authorize removal of an artificial feeding tube. The Court also separately found that an authorized representative of a patient can only consent to […]

Thailand: First Inheritance Tax in Decades Comes into Force

(Feb. 5, 2016) On February 1, 2016, an inheritance tax came into effect in Thailand for the first time in 72 years. The purpose of the law is to increase the tax base to generate revenue. The government has announced it expects to reap the equivalent of US$28 to $56 million from the new tax […]

Estonia: Legalization of Civil Partnerships

(Jan. 14, 2016) On January 1, 2016, the Registered Partnership Law, which had been passed by the Estonian Parliament in 2014, entered into force. The enforcement of the Law was delayed by the need to pass implementing regulations and amend existing legislation. (Registered Partnership Act (Oct. 9, 2014), RIIGI TEATAJA [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] (Oct. 16, 2014), […]

Nigeria: Supreme Court Invalidates Igbo Customary Law Denying Female Descendants the Right to Inherit

(May 6, 2014) On April 14, 2014, the Nigerian Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, confirmed decisions of two lower courts, which had found unconstitutional an Igbo customary law of succession excluding female offspring from eligibility to inherit the property of their fathers. (Lemmy Ughegbe, S’Court Upholds Female Child’s Right to Inheritance in Igboland, THE […]