King Yu as imagined by Song Dynasty painter Ma Lin. The legendary king is credited as having had recorded the original last will and testament in China. Picture: National Palace Museum Taiwan
King Yu as imagined by Song Dynasty painter Ma Lin. The legendary king is credited as having had recorded the original last will and testament in China. Picture: National Palace Museum Taiwan
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

How ancient Chinese wills protected the deceased’s family, and the contents of China’s original last will and testament

  • Before modern times, China’s deceased could not leave the bulk of their estate to mistresses, illegitimate children or even friends
  • Legendary king Yu gave his ministers specific instructions on his burial, which would have been the first recorded last will and testament in China

King Yu as imagined by Song Dynasty painter Ma Lin. The legendary king is credited as having had recorded the original last will and testament in China. Picture: National Palace Museum Taiwan
King Yu as imagined by Song Dynasty painter Ma Lin. The legendary king is credited as having had recorded the original last will and testament in China. Picture: National Palace Museum Taiwan
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