18-year-old writes will, leaves assets to friend

By Ma Chi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-12-23 14:06
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A college freshman from Shanghai recently made a will in which she decided to leave her assets to a friend when she dies.

The 18-year-old woman with the alias of Xiao Hong stated in the will that she would give her bank deposits of more than 20,000 yuan ($3,054) to a friend who gave her great support and comfort when she was heartbroken.

"I don't know when accidents will occur," she said. "I was pretty nervous when writing the will. But now, I have no more concerns and I am going to live my life more earnestly," she said.

"It marks a new beginning."

Xiao Hong said she would consider revising the will and adding other successors when her assets grow.

Xiao Hong is just one of China's millennials choosing to register their final wishes at an early stage of life.

According to statistics released by China Will Registration Center, as of the end of October 2019, a total of 236 people born after 1990 had registered a will with the center.

Most of the young testators leave their property to their parents in the wills.

One such testator is Tang Yu (alias), a 26-year-old financial professional.

"Every time I hear of a young person dying suddenly, or when I take a plane, and the plane jolts violently in the air, I feel a shock to my heart," he said. That prompted him to think about death.

Tang decided to make a will to leave his property as well as a farewell letter to his parents.

"It would be a great pity if I left nothing to my parents when I leave the world," he said.

His parents expressed their understanding after learning of his decision.

Tang said after writing the last will and testament, he felt more reassured when taking a plane.

According to a white paper released by the China Will Registration Center, the average age of testators who registered a will with the center has dropped from 77.43 to 71.2 from 2013 to 2018. 

Li Shilong, the head of Beijing Funeral Association, said younger people write a will to better cope with potential risks, rather than out of concerns for death.

The process of writing will itself is a life education and helps people better understand and cherish life, he said.

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