My 6 rules when dividing inheritance to avoid disputes

May 27, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
My 6 rules when dividing inheritance to avoid disputes
A plot of land in southern Dong Nai Province in September 2023. Illustration photo by Bich Tran
Refusing to transfer my assets before my passing and ensuring everyone is included in my will are among the strict rules I adhere to in order to prevent inheritance conflicts.

In recent years, family conflicts over land inheritances have become increasingly prevalent. Official statistics reveal a stark rise in land dispute cases, from 15,000 between 2017 and 2018 to a staggering 537,000 cases by 2020-2021.

This is becoming a typical phenomenon in Vietnam as many families still do not have the habit of writing up wills early, leading to conflicts among heirs.

In the absence of valid wills, the law dictates an equal distribution of the deceased’s assets among eligible heirs. However, due to a lack of legal awareness, disputes over land and inherited property persist and continue to escalate in our country.

Drawing from my own experiences in resolving land inheritance disputes, I adhere to the following six principles:

1. Parents should refrain from giving early inheritance to their children, as this leaves them with nothing. If they then become ill and unable to care for themselves, their children may shift the responsibility of caring for them onto each other. Therefore, I always save a certain amount of property to ensure my own well-being. Given the uncertainties of the future, self-care should always be prioritized.

2. I will write a specific will before my death. Each child should receive a share, irrespective of its monetary value. While a larger share may be allocated to the eldest or the child providing the most care, no child should be excluded. If the inherited land parcel is too small to divide, the inheriting child should compensate the other siblings with a predetermined amount of cash.

3. I will build a bond of solidarity among my children from an early age, without gender bias. This is a way for children to learn to love, support, and cherish each other, to value family relationships, and not to fight each other over inherited wealth.

4. As for my in-laws, although I want to love them like my own kin, I will need to observe them carefully to ascertain their true intentions. In reality, many in-laws manipulate their spouses to fight with siblings over inheritance.

5. Before signing off on any documents regarding inheritance, I will carefully examine each clause to avoid being misled. I have witnessed many cases where children asked their parents to sign various documents for bank loans or grandchildren's education. But in the end, it turned out they had tricked their parents into signing contracts for asset transferrals or buying/selling inherited real estate. As a result, they lost their homes and were kicked out onto the street.

6. I will never agree to sell the house to pay off any of my children's debts or let them live with me for any reason.

I believe that if parents have a firm stance on this matter from early on, children will learn to be self-reliant, without the greedy mentality of taking from parents or fighting over inherited wealth in the future.

What would you do to avoid inheritance disputes among your heirs?

Reader Tuan Hai

*This opinion was translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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