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Legal changes offer seniors new care model

By Wang Xiaoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-29 09:47

More regulations

To tap the full potential of the legacy support model, experts have called for more regulations to improve the relevant legal framework and facilitate implementation.

Xu Guodong, a professor at Xiamen University's School of Law in Fujian province, said a legacy support agreement remains "a single clause standing alone".

"The standards outlining the kind of support that should be provided and rules about how to list assets in an agreement are all missing. More regulations are needed before we can say that such a model has been fully considered in our legal system," he said.

"The more significant problem with this approach to elderly care is that it presumes seniors will have obtained sufficient capital to fund care services when they reach retirement. However, most seniors who live alone do not have many possessions."

Fan, from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, suggested that legal heirs be included in the pool of potential care providers, in accordance with the tradition that close family members will remain first in line to care for elderly relatives.

What they say

The law of succession, which was promulgated in 1985, is a relatively simple piece of legislation, with only about three dozen concrete statutes. This law was enough to meet the demands of society in the 1980s. However, China's reform and opening-up led to a series of societal changes, including shifts in people's assets. Therefore, it is necessary to improve legislation relating to inheritance and better protect people's rights. By adding some new statutes in the section on inheritance in the Civil Code, China has achieved a well-established legal framework for inheritance.

- Yang Lixin, law professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing

New statutes in the Civil Code will help address the mounting burden of elderly care in an aging society and help spread the norms of respecting and caring for the elderly, as well as promoting family harmony.

- Yang Rong, NPC deputy and a police officer in Taiyuan, Shanxi province

Taking care of empty-nest seniors and elderly people living alone has become a pressing issue with the growing trend of an aging population. Legacy support agreements provide another layer of legal protection for the elderly and address the practical needs of senior citizens.

- Yang Fan, deputy to the National People's Congress and vice-president of the Jiangxi Lawyers Association in Jiangxi province.

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