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Man seeks inheritance, damages over same-sex partner's death

19 Comments

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Inheritance brings out the worst in people. Seen it first hand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My same-sex partner and I, who have been together for more than 20 years, have wills. We are in our late 30s and don't expect to need to use the wills anytime soon. Also, about the constitution, the expression with respect to marriage is "both sexes" (両性). If Abe can reinterpret the Japanese constitution to allow defensive military in Japan, we can reinterpret "both sexes" to mean "the man and the man" or "the woman and the woman".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A lot of same sex couples of that generation got around these issues by having one adopt the other. I wonder why this couple didn’t go that route.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A woman I know passed away, and her significant estate went to her mother and brother, who she hadn't talked to in years and intensely disliked. Her real friends became bystanders at the funeral. And I must say, her mother and brother seemed to be very happy about the whole thing. Sad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As far as inheritance rights go, a will certainly would have helped, but even in Japan, it's also possible for a lawyer to draw up legally binding documentation that provides for co-ownership of assets, and here are a handful of attorneys in Tokyo who specialize in handling this sort of thing for same-sex couples. Conceivably, you could even throw all your joint assets (including real estate and life insurance) into some kind of limited partnership structure, with the surviving partner assuming ownership in the event of the death of the other. That doesn't, of course, address issues like hospital visitation rights and funeral arrangements.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The big problem is unfortunately Japan's constitution. Article 24 defines marriage as between opposite sexes so before amending the Civil Code (and other necessary legislation) to recognize same sex marriage and the rights which go with it (including inheritance), an amendment to the constitution is necessary.

That is pretty much impossible due to the political situation surrounding Article 9, and the difficulty of constitutional amendment in general. So Japan is sort of stuck with stuff like this. Hopefully the court will provide some remedy to this guy, but it should be noted that he is suing in tort rather than based on family law because that is the only option available to him, so its not a very good system for protecting same sex partners rights. Its really a terrible system.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Shocking in these times that this type of discrimination still goes on. I'm betting a good portion of The Diet are in denial or have secret liasions with folk of the same sex. Yet, I feel Japan still has much to do and a long way to go before any significant change on a national level.

I hope the fella in this story finds peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a sad story. The poor guy loses his partner of 45 years, and isn't even afforded family status at the funeral, and has to fight for his inheritance.

So many people oppose same-sex marriage out of some moralistic grounds. How can they consider results like this as being within some sort of morals? It's just petty.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

https://smartexpat.com/japan/how-to-guides/financial-legal/advice/inheritance-law

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan needs to bring its civil laws regarding a number of aspects of marriage and inheritance into the 21st century. One has to wonder too if a claim by a common-law partner of a different gender would have firmer legal standing, even in the absence of children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After a death all kinds of family crazy comes out of the woodwork, an all too common story--best to sit down with a lawyer and get your wishes all on paper while you're able to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Poor man. The deceased's sister sounds like a right cold and nasty individual. I bet she had zero contact with her brother.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He should have made out a will.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it was cold blooded what she did, and he should get the property, but the courts have to rule according to the law in place, so I don't think it will turn out well for him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The rule of law encompasses multiple legal principles, chief among them is that the rules that govern society apply equally to all individuals within the prescribed jurisdiction.

Japan, like other democratic societies need to create liberty for it's people. This failure of the legislative branch of government, moves the demand for liberty to the courts.

Change... Love it!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is the law in Japan if you make your partner co-owner of everything property, vehicles, and assets. Here in the states co-ownership agreements make wills unnecessary according to my lawyer. Now some might want a will for other things, like the right to get the death certificate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You read stories like this, and sometimes the relatives were the sort that were never close to the deceased, but all of a sudden, they want his/her money, and the partner who has spent most of their life with the deceased is shut out, has to mourn for their loved one by themselves and receives not one single penny and not one single keepsake. And sometimes they're thrown out of their property.

Another tragic case illustrating the helplessness:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Jacques_Picoux

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He should have left a will. Even if common law gay marriage were recognized, people should not rely on that alone to assume their wishes will be respected. You have to put in down on paper.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is a terrible situation. I hope the courts support him, since this woman has stolen so much from him.

A warning to everyone - get your affairs in order so that you know this won't happen to your loved ones when you die.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

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