4. The amount of each person’s share in inheritance

4. The amount of each person’s share in inheritance

According to the Tokyo Family Court’s  instructions,

The amount of each person’s share in inheritance is determined based on the statutory inheritance for the estate confirmed in ② (Scope of estate) and evaluated in ③ (Evaluation of estate). However, if special benefits or contributory Portion that meet the conditions of the law are recognized, each heir’s acquisition amount will be adjusted in consideration of these.

each person’s share in inheritance

Here,each person’s share in inheritance is the amount acquired by each heir.

As a general rule, the division will be based on a certain percentage (statutory inheritance) specified by law.If all the heirs agree, the division can be made at a different rate from the statutory inheritance.

Furthermore, if “Special Benefits,” “Contribution” is recognized, the statutory inheritance may be revised.

Legally, the specific inheritance is the “calculated value to be premised on the distribution in the estate division procedure or the ratio of that amount to the total amount of the estate” (Supreme court Heisei12.2.4).

The  special benefits and/or contributions may revise the statutory inheritance .

What are special benefits?

Let’s look at Article 903, paragraph 1, of the Civil Code.

(1) If there is a person from amongst joint heirs who has previously received a testamentary giftor has received a gift for marriageadoptionor as capital for livelihood, the total inherited property shall be deemed the value calculated by adding the value of the gift to the value of the property belonging to the decedent at the time of  commencement of inheritance and the share in inheritance of that person shall be the remaining amount after deducting the value of that testamentary gift or a gift from the share in inheritance calculated pursuant to the provisions of the preceding three Articles.

In practice, ” as capital for livelihood ” is often a problem. Although university tuition  is a typical issue, it may seem that it will be difficult to be recognized unless significant inequality occurs.

According to the Tokyo Family Court’s instructions

If any of the heirs has received a bequest or large livelihood gift from the heir, the benefit received is referred to as the “special benefit”. The heir may calculate the concrete inheritance, as it were, so to speak, in advance of the inheritance, by reducing the person’s acquitance by the special benefit in the division of heritage.

What is contribution ?

If any joint heir has made a special contribution to the maintenance or increase of the inherited property, the special contribution shall be taken into account, and the share of the inherited property that is specially obtained for itself shall be taken into account.

The article is Article 904-2 of the Civil Code. This article was introduced in 1980 when the Civil Code was revised.The article sets out in the following.

(1) If there is a person from amongst joint heirs who has made a special contribution to the maintenance or increase of the decedent‘s property through the provision of labor or in the form of property relating to the decedent‘s business, medical treatment or nursing of the decedentor other means, the total inherited property shall be deemed the value calculated by deducting the contributory portion as determined by agreement by the joint heirs from the value of the property of the decedent at the time of commencement of inheritanceand that person‘s share in inheritance shall be the amount of the contribution added to the share in inheritance calculated pursuant to the provisions of Articles 900 to 902 inclusive.

According to the Tokyo Family Court’s instructions

In addition, if any heir has made a special contribution to the maintenance or increase of the heir’s property, the inheritance of that person shall be determined according to the degree of contribution of that heir (contribution-Kiyobun). We may increase it and calculate the specific inheritance.
Contributions include provision of labor related to the business of the inherited person, payment of property, and nursing care for the inherited person. A contribution shall go beyond usual mutual assistance among relatives. Simply saying that the contribution is greater than the other heirs, or that the burden was too great on itself, cannot be recognised as  the contribution.