Following Hara’s tragic death, the fight over her assets unfortunately began, primarily due to her mother demanding 50% despite abandoning Hara and her brother as children. That led to her brother campaigning for a Goo Hara Act to be passed that would disqualify negligent direct relatives from receiving inheritance.
According to the Civil Act, in the case of the death of an adult without children, their mother or father have a right to their inheritance even if they didn’t personally raise and provide for them. It’s reported that people are only disqualified from this right in extremely rare cases such as murder or the falsification of a will. Goo Hara’s brother is now aiming to change that. On March 18, his lawyer Noh Jong Uhn explained that they are calling for the establishment of a “Goo Hara Act” that would expand the reasons for disqualification to an inheritance so that it includes those who are substantially negligent of their duties to support direct ancestors or direct descendants. The act would also relax the conditions required for the acknowledgment of the contributory portion of inheritance. South Korea’s contributory portion system adds a portion of shares of inheritance when a co-inheritor has particularly taken care of the deceased for a considerable amount of time through cohabitation, nursing, or other methods or has particularly contributed to the maintenance or increase of the deceased’s property. The lawyer explained that they are calling for a rewording of part of this act so that it changes from requiring someone to have “particularly contributed” to instead evaluating contribution relatively in comparison to the contributions of other co-inheritors.
The subsequent court judgement determined that her father and mother would get a 60-40 split of her assets, in large part due to there not yet being a Goo Hara Act in place. Despite this, her brother thankfully pushed on for the Goo Hara Act to be passed, which was approved in December of last year.
The bill was supported by legal and civic organizations, and now the act been confirmed by the Cabinet in the 4th Basic Plan For Healthy Families and will be included in the 21st National Assembly’s policies.
During a recent meeting featuring members of the national Cabinet, members drew up plans for ‘The 4th Plan of Action for the Basis of a Healthy Family’, which formally included the ‘Goo Hara Act’. The 4th Plan of Action for the Basis of a Healthy Family’ will serve as a core policy of the 21st National Assembly of South Korea for the next 5 years in the field of family and home matters. According to the ‘Goo Hara Act’, the procedure through which a parent may lose their right to claim their child’s fortunes consists of evaluating the parent for potential violations in fulfilling their parental roles, neglecting the child, demonstrating laziness, or committing crimes including abuse and mistreatment. If an individual is suspected of such, relatives of the child may request an investigation into a parent’s right to claim the remaining fortunes. If found guilty of any of the above, the ‘Goo Hara Act’ will effectively ban any parents from unfairly claiming their child’s possessions in court. The ‘4th Plan of Action for the Basis of a Healthy Family’, including the ‘Goo Hara Act’, was passed by the Cabinet during a meeting overseen by the President, back on April 27.
Well, at least something useful is coming out of all this mess over her money.
Granted, I doubt this law makes things less messy as families/humans fighting over the rights to assets will never be stopped, much less with a law like this. However, it at least gives families in the future recourse against effectively blood-related strangers claiming the assets of deceased children while never being in their life.