The case of "Shanghai elderly people giving property to fruit stall owners" fell: the houses involved belonged to fruit stall owners.

  The latest progress has been made in the case of "Shanghai elderly people giving 3 million real estate to fruit stall owners"

  On December 15th, The Paper reporter learned from the lawyer team of Gao Mingyue, the agent ad litem of the fruit stall owner, that on December 14th, the team received the Civil Judgment from the Baoshan District People’s Court. The judgment of the first instance shows that the house involved and the property in the house belong to the plaintiff (fruit stall owner Liu).

  Civil Judgment of Shanghai Baoshan District People’s Court provided by Gao Mingyue’s team of lawyers.

  Earlier, according to many media reports, the wife and son of an old man in Baoshan District of Shanghai have passed away, and he lives alone, and he is taken care of by Liu, a fruit stall owner in the community. After that, the old man decided to entrust his old age and legacy to Liu, including his own property worth 3 million yuan, and the relevant support agreement was notarized. On December 31, 2021, the old man died, and his sister and other family members objected to the distribution of the estate, and the two sides went to court.

  The two sides signed an agreement, and the legacy of the old man was given to the fruit stall owner after his death.

  The Paper learned that the plaintiff in this case was Liu, a fruit vendor, and the defendants were the sister and nephew of the old man. The plaintiff’s main claims are as follows: 1. Request to order a real estate in Baoshan District of Shanghai and the property in the house to be owned by the plaintiff; 2. Request that the balance of bank deposits and fruits in the old man’s name be owned by the plaintiff.

  The defendant disagreed with the original request.

  The elder’s sister argued that before 2017, his elder brother had mental disorder and his capacity should be limited. When he was hospitalized in July 2017, the old man was diagnosed with cerebral infarction and Alzheimer’s disease. Later, because Liu took the old man away, he could not be further diagnosed. When the old man signed the Legacy Support Agreement, he did not have full capacity for civil conduct, and the signing of the agreement was invalid.

  The court found that in August 2017, the elderly (Party A, the legatee and the dependents) and Liu (Party B, the donee and the dependents) signed the Legacy Support Agreement.

  As stipulated in the above agreement, Party A is willing to bequeath all personal property in Article 1 of the agreement to Party B, and Party B shall bear the obligation to support Party A; Party B is willing to undertake the obligation to support Party A and accept the property bequeathed by Party A..

  According to the agreement, the property of the elderly includes a set of real estate in Baoshan District, deposits and property in the house. Liu is responsible for the elderly’s support obligations such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, medical care and old-age care, which means taking care of life, giving financial help and giving spiritual comfort.

  With regard to the transfer of the ownership of the bequest property, Party B shall not transfer or dispose of Party A’s personal property before Party A’s death, and Party B shall go through the ownership transfer formalities of the bequest property within 30 days after Party A’s death.

  On March 12, 2019, Shanghai Putuo Notary Office notarized the Legacy Support Agreement and issued a Notarial Certificate.

  The contents of the Notary Certificate show that, after investigation, in August 2017, when the Legacy Maintenance Agreement was concluded, both parties had the legal capacity for civil rights and capacity for civil conduct, and the meaning was true.

  For the audio and video recording of notarization of bequest and maintenance agreement, the plaintiff thinks that it can reflect the true meaning of the old man, while the defendant thinks that the old man has many expressions in the audio and video recording that are logically confused and inconsistent with the facts.

  During the trial, the original and the defendant confirmed that the disputed house belonged to the personal property of the elderly, with a value of 3.3 million.

  How was the old man’s physical condition before his death?

  The verdict shows that the old man was hospitalized for pneumonia in July 2017. The course record showed that the patient had intermittent gibberish attacks, so he applied for a consultation in neurology. The consultation opinion record is: "The patient has intermittent gibberish, clear mind, pertinent answers, senile dementia, and no special treatment for the time being." In June 2020, the old man was admitted to hospital because of a fall.

  In April 2021, the Institute of Forensic Science issued the Judicial Appraisal Opinion, and the appraisal opinion was: "Suffering from organic mental disorder, it should be assessed as having no capacity for civil conduct at present." In May 2021, the old man was declared as a person with no capacity for civil conduct by the court.

  Previously, the court also entrusted the Judicial Appraisal Institute of Shanghai Mental Health Center, the Institute of Judicial Appraisal Science, the Judicial Appraisal Center of Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, and the Shanghai Fenglin Judicial Appraisal Center to appraise the civil capacity of the elderly in March 2019, all of which were rejected because they exceeded the capacity of the appraisal institution or the required materials were insufficient.

  Regarding the status of the elderly at the time of notarization, the investigation record of the notary public showed: "When I notarized, I reviewed the status of the elderly at the time of notarization, and whether the ability of the elderly to express their will was sufficient and true. This elderly man had a cerebral infarction in 2017, and the agreement was signed in 2017. I contacted him in 2019. The old man recovered well and his speech was very clear. Why do you want notarization, why do you do it, and why do you want to support and monitor Mr. Liu and his wife? It is clear and firm to whom to entrust the sick and the sick, and the property will not be given to their relatives ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  The court ruled that the house of the elderly and the property in the house belong to the fruit stall owner.

  The Baoshan District People’s Court of Shanghai held that after the beginning of inheritance, it should be handled according to legal inheritance, and if there is a will, it should be handled according to the will inheritance or bequest; If there is a legacy support agreement, it shall be handled in accordance with the agreement. A citizen may sign a legacy and support agreement with his/her supporter, who shall bear the obligation of living, supporting and burying the citizen, and enjoy the right to be bequeathed. The legacy and maintenance agreement is a legal act of both parties. The content of the legacy and maintenance agreement involved in this case is legal, and the legacy and maintenance agreement has also been notarized in the notary office, and its external formal requirements are in line with the law.

  The court pointed out that although the old man was declared as a person with no capacity for civil conduct in May 2021, there was no evidence to prove that he was already in a state of limited capacity for civil conduct or no capacity for civil conduct during the signing of the bequest and maintenance agreement. Therefore, the agreement is the true expression of both parties and is legally binding. The evidence provided by the defendant, such as the diagnosis of medical treatment and hospitalization, can’t draw the conclusion that the elderly have limited capacity when signing the bequest and maintenance agreement, and there is no evidence to prove that the bequest and maintenance agreement is not the true expression of the elderly.

  The court said that the existing evidence cited by the defendant could not meet the proof standard of the probability of civil evidence advantage and should bear the adverse consequences of proof. The court rejected the defendant’s opinion that the legacy and maintenance agreement was invalid, and held that the will of the decedent and his right to dispose of property should be respected, and the validity of the legacy and maintenance agreement involved should be recognized.

  On December 12, 2023, the court ruled in the first instance that the old man’s house, the property in the house and the balance of funds and fruits in three accounts under his name belonged to the plaintiff Liu.

  Lawyer Gao Mingyue said that the guardianship agreement was valid, and the fruit stall owner assumed the responsibility of guardian. The legacy support agreement was valid, and the fruit stall owner fulfilled the obligation of living, raising and burying.

  In his view, the elderly in Shanghai have legal awareness, and they have prepared legal arrangements for their intentional guardianship and bequest, defended their freedom and dignity, and realized the intentional inheritance of their wealth. Moreover, notarized documents have withstood severe doubts and challenges. The highly antagonistic judicial practice of family affairs fully shows that it is best to present both the intentional guardianship documents and the intentional inheritance documents (such as wills, bequest and support agreements, trust agreements, etc.) by means of notarized documents, which is the most responsible suggestion for the parties.