In accordance with the Chinese legal provisions, there are four ways of succession: (1) statutory succession, which refers to the determination of the sequence of the successors and the distribution of estate according to legal provisions, in the absence of a will or the will being invalid, or in the absence of legacy or an agreement for legacy in return for support; (2) testamentary succession, that is, a way of succession in which the decedent made a will during his or her lifetime designating the successors to inherit his or her estate; (3) legacy, that is, the legal act that a citizen, by making a will, donates his personal property to the state or a collective, or bequeath it to persons other than the statutory successors; (4) agreement for legacy in return for support, that is, a legator may enter into a legacy-support agreement with a person who, in accordance with the agreement, assumes the duty to support the former in his or her lifetime and attends to his or her interment after death, in return for the right to legacy.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of the Law of Succession, succession shall, after its beginning, be handled in accordance with the provisions of statutory succession; where a will exists, it shall be handled in accordance with testamentary succession or as legacy; where there is an agreement for legacy in return for support, the former shall be handled in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Therefore, among the four ways of succession, the agreement for legacy in return for support is of the highest effect, and it should be applied first. Testamentary succession and legacy should be applied next, and the statutory succession is of the lowest effect.
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