In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 22)

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Rockwills - wills and trusts - ipoh estate planningBy Peter Lee

Since Connie (Lee Sr’s  2nd wife) could not agree with the suggestion by Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s first Wife) to renounce her claim to the joint bank accounts between Lee Sr. and Mrs Patricia Lee in ZNA Bank, Singapore which amounts to S$3 million, Mrs Patricia Lee further asked Connie “So, if you can’t agree to renouncing your entitlement to the joint bank accounts between myself and my husband, then can you renounce your rights to the entitlement of shares in my own family Companies and in return my family will renounce our rights to the  entitlement of shares in companies which you have set up with my husband? “No” was Connie’s response. Mrs Patricia Lee then said “Ok! What if we share the money in my joint bank accounts with ZNA Bank, Singapore according to Intestacy Law but you and your children renounce your rights to the shares in my family companies? Connie replied, “I think I still prefer all the assets to be distributed according to Intestacy Law.”

With frustration and anger, Mrs Patricia Lee turned to John and Michele (children of the first family) and said “Since she wants every damn thing, I think I am going to blow up if I continue talking to her. So, can you guys talk to her about this?” John then said, “Mum, let Michele and I talk to her privately later.” John turned to Connie and said “Connie! Are you okay with this? Connie replied “If you want this so called private meeting, I have no problem but whatever it is, my decision still stays. So! When can we have this meeting?” John replied, “To resolve it quickly, why not after this family meeting. Are you okay with this?” Connie confirms by nodding. Michele also agreed to it. He then asked, “Dave, is it okay to use this room?  In reply, Dave said “Yes”.

Connie then excused herself to the washroom and while walking to the washroom, she phoned her lawyer, May and said “May! This is Connie. I need you to do me a favour and it has to be today. I need you to write to ZNA Bank, Singapore to inform them of the demise of my husband and to freeze whatever joint accounts he has.” May then asked, “Is this joint account with you or someone else?”  Connie replied, “This account is jointly owned with his first wife. We are now having a family meeting and looks like she thinks that all the money in this account belongs to her. All I want is for me and my children to claim our entitlement of my husband’s 50 per cent in this account.” May then replied, “Ok! Can you forward your marriage certificate so that we can prove to the bank that you are the wife?” In response Connie said “I can’t because our marriage was not registered but I can provide you the birth certificates of my children which show that my husband is their father.” In reply, May said, “I think that’s not good enough.” Connie then said “If that’s the case, can you write for me and I will sign for it.” “Okay! I am not sure it will work but I will do it for you.” While Connie was talking to May, Mrs Patricia Lee was in Dave’s office room booking a flight to Singapore for the next day to withdraw the money in the joint bank account.

To be continued…

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. His Book “To Delay is Human but to Will is Divine” (96 pages, RM28, Hard copy) is available at Rashi Mini Market (019-510 6284), No. 37, Jalan Perajurit, Ipoh Garden East or at Ipoh Echo. Chinese and English version of his book is also available at his office: No. 108 (2nd Floor), Jalan Raja Ekram, 30450 Ipoh, Perak. He can be reached at: