Act for Ancestor Worship Guild

Link to law: http://law.moj.gov.tw/ENG/LawClass/LawAll.aspx?PCode=D0020063

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Chapter 1 General Rules

Article 1

The Act for Ancestor Worship Guild in Taiwan (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) is stipulated to promote filial piety in the country, continue the heritage of family traditions, and improve the management of properties for ancestor worship guild to create public interest and efficient land management.

Article 2

The “authorities concerned” referred in the Act is defined as follows: Central government, municipality government, county/city government, and district office.
The responsibilities of authorities concerned are listed below:
1. Central government:
(1) Devise the mechanism of ancestor worship guild and draft/interpret related regulations.
(2) Supervise and coach the local regulators’ responsibilities regarding ancestor worship guild
2. Municipality government, county/city government:
(1) Scrutinizing the registration of corporations in the ancestor worship related businesses.
(2) Supervise and provide coaching for corporations in ancestor worship related businesses.
3. District office:
For the corporations in the ancestor worship industry prior to the promulgation of the Act, they should abide by the instructions from District Offices for their registration, application for certificates and any related changes.
The responsibilities stated in Subparagraph 3 in the previous paragraph refer to municipality government or city governments, depending on the regions.
The related businesses responsible by district offices stipulated in this Act are the responsibilities of local district offices depending within their municipals or cities.
In the event that the dissidence is raised for businesses unlisted in paragraph 2, the Central Government should make decision based on deliberation with municipality government and county/city governments unless otherwise stipulated in the Act or other regulations.

Article 3

Terminologies:
1. Ancestor worship guild: A group of people aiming at providing services for ancestor worship or other worships based on the properties donated by the initiators.
2. Initiator: The individual or group who donates his or their properties to establish the guild.
3. The worshipped: The individuals who are worshipped by the ancestor worship guild.
4. Successor: The initiator and the individuals who inherited the authority from the initiator of the guild. The categorization of successors are listed below:
(1) The entire body: All the successors who have taken, or are taking the roles of the successors in the guild or corporation the date of establishment.
(2) Current successors: The current successors of the guild or the corporation.
5. Rights of successors: The rights of the successors in the guild or corporation.
6. Assembly: The assembly is constituted with the successors of the guild or corporations to deliberate business of regulations, business plans, budgets, accounting, arrangement of properties, electing managers and supervisors.

Article 4

For the guilds that existed before the promulgation of the Act, their successors should abide by related rules of their regulations. For those without any regulations, their successors should be the male offspring of the family (including adopted children). For those without any male offspring, they should designate the female members in the family who have not been married. The husbands of the female members via uxorilocal marriage or the male children carrying with their maiden names (including the ones that are adopted or without a lawful fathers) may also serve as successors. For the others (women, adopted female children and adopted sons-in-law) fulfilling one of the following criteria, they can serve as successors too:
(1) 2/3 of the entire body agrees their qualification.
(2) 2/3 of current successors agree their qualification (50% of the entire body must be present.)

Article 5

After the Act take effect, the successors of the guild and corporations should take the responsibility of the successor as a joint worshiper when they inherit the business.

Chapter 2 Registration

Article 6

Prior to the promulgation of the Act, those who have not registered and received the legal certificate based on the Key Points of Land Clearance for Ancestor Worship Guild or Regulations of Land Clearance for Ancestor Worship Guild in Taiwan should submit application to the local district offices.
In the case that the corporation does not have a manger, or the whereabouts of the manager is unknown, or the manager in charge refuses to submit application, a representative among the successors (the candidate must be agreed by 50% of the successors) to submit application on the corporation’s behalf.

Article 7

The land administration offices in municipality and county/city governments should create documents after auditing all the lands within their region one year after the Act take effect. These documents should be submitted to related governments for publication of 90 days, and they should notify the guilds who have not submitted registration to remind them that they need to submit application within 3 years.

Article 8

The managers or successors of the Ancestor Worship Guild referred in Article 6 should fill in applications and submit the following documentations:
1. Recommendation letter. If the application is filed by the manager, then he or she does not need a recommendation letter.
2. History.
3. List of real estate and related documentations.
4. The organization chart of the successors.
5. Household certificate transcript of the successors.
6. List of the successors’ names.
7. The original regulations. Those without any regulations may be exempt from submission.
The “household certificate transcripts” referred in (5) refers to those who have the transcripts after Taiwanese government announces the implementation of issuing household certificate transcripts. Those proved to have no transcripts based on local land administration offices may be exempt from submission.

Article 9

In the case that the guild has branches over different municipality cities, counties and towns, they should submit application to the government where they have the largest presence. Whichever government it is, the related staff should also notify the other local government where the guild has presence to conduct collaborative inspection.

Article 10

The local government should review the applications and for those who they do not think qualified, they should notify the applicants to revise and re-submit within 30 days. Those who fail to re-submit within the deadline will not be accepted.
If there is more than one person submitting the application on behalf of the same guild, the authorities concerned should notify them and ask only one person to submit within 3 months. If the negotiation fails, the authorities concerned should notify them to submit the case to the court and report the result back to the local authorities. Those who fail to complete the process before deadline will not be accepted.

Article 11

After the local authorities concerned accepts the application from the guilds or corporations, they should announce the list of successors, the related organization chart, and the list of the guilds’/corporations’ real estate at the office of the authorities concerned for 30 days. A copy of the afore-stated documents should be published in at least one local newspaper for 3 consecutive days, and on the official websites of the authorities concerned in municipal, county and city government for 30 days.

Article 12

If any successor or interested party hopes to file dissidence for the afore-mentioned regulation, they should submit a report to the local authorities concerned during the period of promulgation.
After the deadline is passed, the authorities concerned should remind the applicants to re-submit within 30 days; those who fail to resubmit their application before the deadline will not be accepted afterwards. The authorities concerned should send the document filing for dissidence to the related parties and if they still have a different opinion, they may submit their complaint to the court within 30 days (after receiving the application) to confirm the rights of the inheritance, the rights for their real estate and they should send a copy of their reasoning to local authorities concerned for future references.
If the applicant accepts the dissidence, they should revise their report within 30 days as mentioned in section 2, and submit to their local authorities concerned to seek for announcement for 30 days to see if anyone has any further comments.

Article 13

After the deadline is passed, if no one raises any complaint or requests for submitting their request to the court for litigation process, the local authorities concerned should issue a certificate. Those undergoing legal process should follow the necessary procedures based on the court ruling.
The afore-mentioned certificates include the list of the successors, the organization chart of the successors and the list of real estate.

Article 14

The ancestor worship guilds without any regulations should start to draft a regulation one year after receiving the certificate of successors.
The guilds that do not have a complete regulation should revise their regulation one year after receiving the certificate of successors.
For any stipulation or revision of regulations in the guilds to take effect, more than 3/4 of the successors present at the meeting (2/3 of the successors must be present) must agree. The (revised) regulations may also take effect if more than 2/3 of the current successors express their consent via written notice. In both scenarios, the successors must report the regulations to the local authorities concerned for future reference.

Article 15

The regulations for ancestor worship guild should include the following items:
1. Name, purpose and location
2. How the successor inherits his or her rights and in what circumstances will this right be annulled.
3. The number of people, responsibilities, tenures and methods of employment/unemployment for the managers.
4. The process of stipulating and amending regulations.
5. The management, disposal and pledging of properties.
6. The rules of distributing properties after the guild is disintegrated.

Article 16

In the event that there is no manager when the guild is applying for registration, the members of the guild should select a manager within one year after they receive the certificate, and report to district office.
The guilds with supervisor should select supervisors within one year after they receive the certificate, and report to district office.
If anyone has dissidence over the selection of managers, supervisors and other related items, they should raise the issue to the court for confirmation.
Unless otherwise indicated in other regulations, or agreed by the assembly, the employment and unemployment of the managers and supervisors of the guild need to be agreed by more than 50% of the members in the guild.

Article 17

If anyone discovers an error in the names of the manages, successors or any stakeholders, they should report to the authorities concerned and announce for 30 days along with a consent form stating the agreement of revision is stated by more than 50% of the members in the guild. If no one raises any counterargument after 30 days, then the guild may change the certificate. If anyone raises a dissidence, he or should she raise the point to the court for deliberation and the local authorities concerned should follow the ruling of the court.

Article 18

After the guild receives the certificate for their successors, if there is any change to their successors, managers or stakeholders, the guild should submit application for revision to the local authorities concerned, which will make announcement for 30 days. If no one raises any counterargument, then the revision is accepted; if not, the following documentation should be submitted based on Article 12 and 13:
1. Certificate of successors.
2. The household certificate transcripts for the members upon revision.
3. A comparison table of organization chart before and after revision.
4. Affidavit of abandoning rights (optional, if no one abandons their rights)
5. A comparison table of the list of members before and after revision.
6. Regulations (optional, if there’s no regulation in place).

Article 19

For any change of managers in the guild, the new manager should submit the following documents to the local authorities concerned without any requirement of announcement:
1. Certificate of successors.
2. Regulations (optional)
3. Any documents to prove the selection of the manager is legitimate.

Article 20

In the case that the court has ruled that the documents submitted by the guild during application are falsified, the authorities concerned should reject its application and revoke the certificates of the successors that have been issued.

Chapter 3 Registration of corporations

Article 21

The guilds that have existed before the promulgation of the Act are valid groups if they have completed registration from local authorities based on the Act
For the guilds who have received the certificate of successors will be deemed as valid corporations that have applied for registration based on Section 1 of Article 25.
The corporations of the guild have rights and responsibilities.
Any guild having successfully registered as a corporation should use the name of “corporation” in the guild.

Article 22

The guild of ancestor worship should have a manager, who takes care of all the related businesses, takes charges of the properties and represent the corporation. If there is more than 1 manager, the total number of managers should be an odd number and one representative should be in place after electing among the managers. Under this circumstance, the execution of all affairs will need to be agreed by more than 50% of the management team.

Article 23

Any ancestor worship corporation may engage a supervisor by selecting a suitable candidate among successors to monitor the execution of related businesses.

Article 24

The Charters of the Ancestor Worship Guild should include the following key points:
1. Name
2. Purpose
3. Location of the headquarters
4. Total properties
5. Rules of legitimate successor and disqualification
6. Rights and duties of successors.
7. Rules of convening assembly, the assembly’s rights and the deliberation regulations.
8. The number of managers, their rights, their tenures, employment and unemployment.
9. The number of supervisors, their rights, their tenures, employment and unemployment. (optional)
10. All affairs related to ancestor worship
11. The procedures of stipulating and revising organization charters
12. Rules of management, disposal and pledging for properties
13. Periods of sustainability (optional)
14. Rules of disintegration
15. Arrangement of properties after disintegration

Article 25

The ancestor worship guild should fill out any application along with the following documents to apply for registration from their local authorities:
1. A consent form signed by more than 50% of their successors
2. History
3. Organization Charter
4. Documents specifying the location of the headquarters; those with subsidiaries should do the same.
5. A copy of official document specifying the legitimate managers; those who already have managers in place before registration should attach a list of managers as well.
6. A copy of official document of registered supervisors: The guilds that have applied for supervisors should attach a list of their names; otherwise it won’t be necessary.
7. Certificate of the successors.
8. The official chop of the guild and its manager.
The style and format of the afore-stated chops should be based on the instructions of Central Government.

Article 26

The municipality, county and city government should issue the official certificate to the guilds whose applications are confirmed to abide by the Act.
The name of “corporation” should be noted in the afore-stated certificates. The format of the certificate should be based on the instructions of Central Government.

Article 27

The municipality, county and city government should prepare a book to record the following items in relation to registration:
1. The purpose, name and location of the applicant
2. Total number of properties
3. List of names of the successors
4. The names and residences of the managers; and the names of the legal representatives (if any).
5. The names and residences of the supervisors
6. The period of sustainability (if any).
7. Date of issuance for the guild’s certificate
8. Chop of the guild and its manager
The format of such book should be based on the instructions of Central Government.

Article 28

The managers should apply to the land administrations within 90 days after they receive their certificates. They must also attach their certificates and list of properties to change the ownership of their real estate to the guilds. Those who miss the deadline may re-apply within another 90 days.
Those who do not apply subject to the afore-stated rule should abide by the instructions in Section 3 of Article 50.

Article 29

After registration, the registered guilds who fail to apply for necessary items subject to the Act, or those who fail to report and changes will not be able to counter argue with any third party should there be any problem.

Chapter 4 Supervising the Ancestor Worship Guilds

Article 30

The assembly of the successors should convene at least once every year to deliberate the following:
1. Stipulation and change of the organization charter
2. Selection of the manager and supervisors
3. Work report of the manager and supervisors
4. Annual budget, final accounts, business plans and business reports.
5. Disposal and pledging for the properties
6. Other items related to the rights and duties of successors
The guilds should report their meeting resolutions 30 days after their assembly and submit to the authorities concerned.

Article 31

The assembly of the guild should be convened by the manager of the corporations, and have more than 50% of the successors to attend. For any changes of the successors, the guild should complete change of the registration prior to the convention of the meeting.
If the manager thinks it’s necessary, or more than 1/5 of the successors submit request via written form, an ad-hoc assembly may be convened.
The manager of the legal corporation should be the chair for the afore-stated meetings. The managers who fail to convene the assembly based on Section 1 and 3 should have the successors vote for one convener and chair among themselves.

Article 32

To implement all related business, in the case that not enough successors attend the meetings, the manager of the guild should obtain the consent forms signed by the successors based on the quota stipulated in Article 33.

Article 33

More than 50% of the successors should be present in assembly for any resolution, and 50% of the attendants must agree on the resolution. The assembly who do not have 50% of successors in the assembly should obtain 50% of the successors’ consent forms with their signatures. However, the following items need to be deliberated and agreed by more than 3/4 of the attendants in the meeting (and more than 2/3 of the entire body must be present), or 2/3 of the successors must express their agreement by means of submitting a consent form with their signatures:
1. Stipulation and change of organization charter
2. Disposal and pledging for the properties
3. Dismissal
If any guild has a percentage rule higher than the afore-mentioned requirement, they should follow suit.

Article 34

When the guild has to convene an assembly for the purpose of changing or stipulating their organization charter, they should notify the local authorities concerned and invite them to be present.

Article 35

The selection and disqualification of the managers and supervisors in the guild should be agreed by more than 50% of the successors unless otherwise stated in their organization charter or assembly resolution.

Article 36

The managers of the guilds should understand how to protect the guilds and strive towards leveraging or improving the property resources of the guilds unless otherwise stated in their organization charter.

Article 37

For any change of successors, the guild should report to the local authorities concerned by attaching the following documents:
1. Certificate of the successors
2. Organization chart of the change to successors
3. The household registration transcripts of the changed members
4. A comparison table of the name list
5. Consent form to abandon the membership rights (if any).
6. Organization charter
For the changes of the successors as afore-stated, the authorities concerned should accept the requests if no one raises any dissidence 30 days after announcement; if anyone raises dissidence, the authorities concerned should abide by the rules in Article 13.

Article 38

In the event that any guild changes their managers or supervisors, they should report to local authorities concerned and change their registration by attaching related documents.
If anyone raises dissidence against the election and change to managers or supervisors in the guilds, they should file for civil court for clarification.

Article 39

The guilds who have changed their real estate should report to the authorities concerned by attaching related documents to the lands and buildings, as well as the list of real estate before and after the change.

Article 40

The guilds who have changed their chops for the guilds or managers should report to the authorities concerned by attaching related documents to the updated chops before and after the change.

Article 41

All guilds should keep an accounting book and keep track of their financials.
All guilds should attach an annual budget and business plan 3 months after acquiring their corporation certificate and three months prior to the end of the each year. 3 months after the beginning of the year, the guilds should finalize their annual accounts and business reports. All the afore-stated documents must be reported to the local authorities concerned for future references.

Article 42

Supervisors (if any) of the guilds should audit all types of business executions and accounting books, and report their findings to the members in the assembly.

Article 43

In the event that any of the following is discovered within any guild, the local authorities concerned should correct the acts of the guilds and notify them to improve within a certain deadline:
1. Violate laws or organization charter
2. The management direction is not consistent with the goal of the guilds
3. Any illegal receipt or incomplete accounting records are found on the book
4. The total number of properties can no longer fulfill the goals of the establishment for the guilds
For any guilds who fail to make improvement before the deadline, the authorities concerned may disqualify their managers and order the guilds to re-elect new managers or annul its registration.

Article 44

In the case that any guilds violate laws, public order or social justices for any purpose of the guilds or personal agenda, the court may order the guild to dismiss subject to the request from the authorities concerned, prosecutors or stakeholders.

Article 45

If any guild reaches to a point of dismissing its organization or is ruled by the court to annul their registration, they should dismiss the organization.
Upon disintegration, the guilds should request the liquidator to submit related documents and a plan of property settlement to the authorities concerned.

Article 46

After disintegration, the managers should take care of the settlement of properties, unless otherwise stated in their organization charter or in the meeting resolution in the general assembly.

Article 47

In the case that the guilds cannot appoint any liquidator, the court should appoint one liquidator for the guilds subject to the request from authorities concerned, prosecutors or stakeholders.

Article 48

The responsibilities of the liquidator is stated below:
1. Settle all current businesses
2. Collect outstanding loans and repay outstanding debt
3. Transfer and allocate the residual properties
Before the end of settlement, the guilds will be regarded as sustaining considering that it has to continue its operations before final settlement.

Chapter 5 Handling the lands of the guilds

Article 49

After receiving the certificates of successors, the manager, successors or stakeholders who discover any missing listing or mistakes in listing the buildings or properties related to the guilds should make changes on their list after receiving consent from 50% of their members via written form and attach a copy of the certificates of the properties (lands). They should submit such inquiry to change to local district offices for announcement of 30 days and confirm changes if no one raise any dissidence during this period. If anyone raises dissidence, they should submit the inquiry to the court for clarification and follow the court’s ruling.

Article 50

After receiving the certificate of successors, the managers of the guilds should handle the related lands and buildings 3 years after reporting to the local district offices:
1. Register the guilds as corporations after receiving the consent of more than 50% of its members. Apply for the change of ownership to its corporations.
2. Create a legal corporation based on Civil Laws after receiving the consent of more than 50% of its members. Apply for the change of ownership to its legal corporations.
3. Apply for changing the ownership to collective or individual successors based on related contracts.
The guilds who have received the certificate of successors based on the articles stated before should follow each regulation three years after the Act take effect.
The guilds who fail to follow the previous 2 sections should remind their local land administration offices to register the lands/buildings to respective successors based on the current name list that the local authorities have in hand.

Article 51

If any of the following items occurs in the guild that has finished the process stipulated in Article 7 for three years, they should request local authorities concerned to help sell their properties other than the public-owned properties:
1. No one declares properties after three years.
2. The court has ruled against the application and the guild does not apply for further appeal.
3. The court has confirmed to rule again its appeal.
If the guild or stakeholders have a justifiable reason to counter argue the above-stated occurrence, they may apply for suspension of following the procedures.
The related procedures, requirements, deadlines and the floor price of the properties should be based on the instructions of the authorities concerned.

Article 52

The following is the priority of buyers for the lands stated in the previous article:
1. The owner of superficies, people of pawning rights or the permanent tenancy right.
2. Lessee of the lands or farm lands.
3. The collective owner of shared lands.
4. The owners of the lands who have more than 10 years of ownership prior to the promulgation of the Act, and till the land sales through open tender the owner is still in occupancy of land.
The order of priority stated in Subsection 1 should be “first come, first served”.

Article 53

The authorities concerned should make announcement for three months prior to selling the lands on behalf of the guilds. The authorities concerned should state the purpose of priorities in the announcement and notify its potential buyers via announcement. The potential buyers who cannot submit written proposal 10 days after the bidding is over will be regarded as giving up their rights.
Before the authorities concerned announce for selling the properties on behalf of the guilds, they should make inquiries to local tax administration offices, household registration offices, civil and land administration offices etc. In the case that the successors or stakeholders can be discovered, the authorities concerned should notify them as well.

Article 54

The local authorities concerned should have a special account to help clear the custody money for land rights to keep custody the revenue earned from selling the lands.
The local authorities concerned should subtract 5% of the earnings gained from selling the lands on behalf of the guilds as handling fee, another 0.05% for clearing bonus and pay the tax subject to related laws before saving the remaining in the afore-stated custody account.
Any guild can apply from the local authorities concerned to for the earnings gained from selling the lands by providing related documents 10 years after the special account was opened. The local authorities concerned should return the gain on selling the lands (by subtracting necessary taxes and the adding necessary interests) after review if no one raises dissidence 3 months after promulgation. After 10 years, if there is still money remaining in the special account, it should be confiscated to the National Treasury. The savings, custody and confiscation as well as the distribution, review and approval for the clearing bonus should be based on the instructions of Central Government.

Article 55

In the case that the lands referred to in Article 51 is still not sold after second bidding, the local authorities concerned should register the lands on the guild’s behalf and confiscate to national property.
The guilds may apply to local authorities concerned for the gain from selling lands by attaching related documents 10 years after registering the nationalized lands. The local authorities concerned should return the gain on selling the lands (by subtracting necessary taxes and the adding necessary interests) after review if no one raises dissidence 3 months after promulgation. The amount needed should be deducted from the custody account; in case of any shortage, the National Treasury should provide support.

Chapter 6 Supplementary Articles

Article 56

Before the Act take effect, any real estate registered with the name beyond the guilds but operated as a guild by nature should be applicable to the registration and application rules in the Act if the applicant can provide the consent form of more than 50% of its members or other documents. The same rule applies to the corporations.
If the real estate involved in the case is a farming land, the owner may apply to change the ownership to the guild or corporation and not required to abide by the restriction of agriculture development Act.

Article 57

In the event that any manager, successor or stakeholder of the guild has dissidence about registration, change and report about the corporations or lands may file appeal to the court other than abiding by the rules in the Act.

Article 58

The Central Government may stipulate incentives or punishments to encourage the Ancestor Worship Guilds to leverage their properties on charitable works and create benefits for the society.

Article 59

The newly formed guilds should establish an association or foundation. Those who have been established before the Act take effect may apply for change of registration within 3 years subject to the Act. After registration is complete, the authorities concerned should send a letter to the court to annul the registration of the association concerned.

Article 60

The date for the Act to take effect will be subject to the instruction of Executive Yuan.