After discussing with Dave (Lawyer) about the properties especially those that are mortgaged to the bank in Lee Sr’s estate, the Administrators of the estate namely, John, Michele (children of Lee Sr.) and Connie (2nd wife of Lee Sr.) will now have to discuss and figure out where to source for funding for the on-going instalment payment. This is because they cannot utilize the money from the estate as the Letter of Administration (L.A.) had not yet been obtained. In the meantime, Dave moved on to the shareholdings of Lee Sr. in all of his private limited companies. John revealed that his father only had a 70 per cent stake in each of the three private limited companies he set up years ago. “These Companies are in housing development and have been managed by me and my other siblings all this while. I am sure you know about it?” he said while looking at Connie to which she responded by smiling. Dave then asked, “What is the value of these shareholdings?” John responded and said, “I think it’s worth RM20 million as per the latest audited accounts. But, let me check again and confirm the value to you later.” Dave turned to Connie and asked, “Are there any shares of this type held by Lee Sr. that you are aware of?” Connie replied, “Yes! I only have an investment company which my husband and I set up. His shareholding in this company is 50 per cent and I have to check the value of his shareholding with my accountant.”
Dave then added, “Ok! Can I confirm with all of you that these are the only shares which he owns in the private limited companies?” Everyone nodded and said yes. John then said to Connie, “Even though all of us have to follow the distribution act, would you consider the idea of my side of the family keeping my father’s shares in the companies we’ve been managing and in return whatever shares held by him in your investment company will be given back to you.” Connie then replied, “Let me think about it and come back to you.” Dave intervened and said, “I suggest that it’s best we start off with the process of applying for the L.A. first and once L.A. is obtained then all of you can discuss and negotiate on this.” He further asked, “are there any more assets like the cars, safe deposit box, club membership, etc., which is under Lee Sr’s name?” Michele said, “As far as I know, there are only two cars under his name. So, how are we going to distribute it to so many family members according to the distribution act?”. Before answering Michele’s question, Dave asked Connie whether she knew of any other car which is in Lee Sr’s name. In reply, Connie said, “I only know of one car under my husband’s name.” Then Dave said, “Can you all please give me the registration cards of all these cars. Michele, the answer to your question is that if everyone wants to follow the distribution act, then I will suggest that these cars must be sold subject to consent of all the beneficiaries. In this way, it is much easier to distribute the proceeds from the sale.”
Peter Lee is an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (Wills & Trust) with Rockwills International Group. He is also an Islamic Estate Planner providing Wills & Trust services for Muslims. He can be reached at: 012‑5078825/05‑2554853 or [email protected] Website: http://www.wills-trust.com.my. His Book “To Delay is Human but to Will is Divine” (96 pages, RM28) is available at his office: 108 (2nd Floor), Jalan Raja Ekram, 30450 Ipoh; Rashi Mini Market (019-510 6284), 37 Jalan Perajurit, Ipoh Garden East; Ipoh Echo and at all major bookstores.