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Support services for estate beneficiaries


The Estate Beneficiaries Support Unit of the Home Affairs Department will, from next Monday (April 2), provide a series of support services for estate beneficiaries of persons who passed away on or after February 11, 2006.

The Secretary for Home Affairs is empowered to provide the support services under the Probate and Administration Ordinance, with effect from February 11, 2006, following the abolition of estate duty.

While preparation was made by the Home Affairs Department for establishing the support unit to assume the responsibilities, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue had been given the authority to deliver the support services as an interim arrangement.

"The Estate Beneficiaries Support Unit will take over the relevant functions from the Estate Duty Office of the Inland Revenue Department in April," a Home Affairs Department spokesman said.

"The support services to be provided by the unit, which aims to safeguard the legitimate interests of beneficiaries in the estates will remain unchanged."

These services include:

(a) issuing a Confirmation Notice exempting people dealing with a small estate made up of money not exceeding $50,000 in aggregate value from the intermeddling provisions;

(b) issuing a Certificate for Necessity for Release of Money to meet funeral expenses of the deceased person or maintenance of former dependants of the deceased person;

(c) issuing a Certificate for Necessity of Inspection of Bank Deposit Box, if the deceased person rented a safe deposit box, and sending officers to witness the inspection of the safe deposit box and preparation of an inventory by the estate beneficiary; and

(d) issuing an Authorisation for Removal from Bank Deposit Box to enable the estate beneficiaries or the surviving renters to remove specified document or article from the safe deposit box.

People may visit the unit on the 3rd floor of the Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai for lodging applications for support services. For enquiries, they may contact the Unit at 2835 1535 or through e-mail An enquiry counter will also be set up on the 22nd floor of Wu Chung House, 213, Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, to provide information and enquiry services for the public also starting from next Monday.

Information booklet and leaflets on the services are available at the Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department in the 18 districts, the Estate Duty Office of the Inland Revenue Department, the Probate Registry, the relevant service centres of the Social Welfare Department, the Deaths Registries and all public hospitals. The public may also access the support unit website at for details of the services.

Ends/Thursday, March 29, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:01