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Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South ChinaThe Traditional Land Law of Hong Kong's New Territories, 1744-1948$
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Patrick H. Hase

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139088

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139088.001.0001

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The Next Heir

The Next Heir

(p.135) 6 The Next Heir
Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South China

Patrick H. Hase

Hong Kong University Press

The next heir had an absolute right to inherit an undiminished ancestral estate, the sons, the brothers and the paternal male cousins were normally seen as heirs, sometimes the wife or the mother were also heirs as their livelihood depended on the land after the husband or son died. The heir had a right to redeem the sale of land, if he or she wasn’t involved in the transaction. Therefore, to make the sale absolute, most deeds state clearly that the next heirs had consented to the transaction and include a clause which states that the vendor cannot re-open discussions or try to raise the price paid to him or reduce the area of land transferred or try to redeem the sale. Despite what was stated on the deeds, sometimes redemption was achieved by the heirs by giving back the original purchase price, causing the original purchaser to lose out.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, New Territories, Customary Land Law, Heir, Ancestral estate, Absolute sale, Redeem a sale

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