In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 32)


By Peter Lee

When the communication between Connie (Lee Sr’s second wife and Co-Administrator) and the first family, in particular Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s  first wife) and Michelle (Lee Sr’s daughter and Co-Administrator) broke down, John Lee (Lee Sr’s eldest son and Co-Administrator) was asked by his mother, Mrs Patricia Lee to negotiate with Connie on the distribution of his father’s estate. Having no choice, he had to convince Connie to meet up with him alone. After some explanation on the grounds of a speedy distribution proposal, Connie agreed to meet John in Fine Dining Cafe. When Connie stepped into the cafe, John was already seated at a table in a private corner. Once he saw her, he stood up and waved at her. When Connie reached the table, John greeted her with some embarrassment because the slight bruises, caused by Michelle, on her face were quite apparent. When both of them were seated and ordered their food, John said, “Connie, thank you for coming. I think we are all mentally stressed by all of this and it’s time to move on with the distribution.” In reply Connie said, “Okay! The first thing I need to know from you is about your mother’s stand on my entitlement to the $3 million from ZNA bank in Singapore which she has withdrawn from your father’s joint account with her.”

John said, “I have spoken to mum and she is now willing to give your entitlement back to you. Now, I need to clarify with you that your entitlement is only on the $1.5 million.” Connie then asked, “I thought it should be $3 million.” In response, John said, “This is based on the fact that my father’s share in this joint bank account is only 50%, the other 50% belongs to mum. So, when we obtained the Letter of Administration (L.A.), the distribution part to all family members based on Intestacy Law will be on father’s 50% portion.” Connie immediately asked, “So, how much will my three children and I be receiving?” John replied, “my mum and you are entitled to share equally one-third of father’s estate. In other words, it’s one-third of the $1.5 million which works out to be $500,000. So, you will receive $250,000.”

“Now, as you know, the two-third entitlement will be shared by the 9 children of whom 3 are your children. So, two-thirds of $ 1.5 million equals to $1 million and this amount will be divided by 9. Therefore, three of your children will be getting $111,111 each.”  Connie then asked, “Are you sure that your calculation is correct?” In reply, John said, “I have checked with our lawyer Dave about this part of the distribution.” Connie sighed and said, “It looks like my children and I are getting pittance from this. So, if this is the case, then when can we get the money?” Before John could answer, the waiters arrived with the food and once it was served, John said “Let’s eat.” While having their meal, John said, “Before we talk about the payout arrangement, I need some consensus from you on my family’s proposal to distribute father’s 70% of shares in our three family companies. This will enable our distribution of these shares to be smoother and cleaner.” Connie looked at John and asked, “What do you mean by cleaner?”

To be continued…

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