In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 41)


By Peter Lee

As both John Lee (Lee Sr’s eldest son and Co-Administrator) and Connie (Lee Sr’s second wife and Co-Administrator) remain unconscious after an accident, their families were informed by the doctors at the hospital that John may be paralysed while Connie is in coma. Then Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s first wife) told her daughter Michelle (Lee Sr’s daughter and Co-Administrator) to inform their lawyer, Dave and asked what is going to happen to the Letter of Administration (L.A.). In reply, Dave said “Since they are still in this condition, the family may be left with the option of withdrawing both their names as the Administrators from the application (L.A.) to be submitted to the High Court and make a fresh application to appoint you as the Sole Administrator. If it ever happens, then both sides of the family must agree to this.

Michelle then asked “Does that mean it includes John and Connie’s consent? Dave replied “No, their consent need not be obtained if they are still in this current condition.” Michelle immediately asked “What do you mean?” Dave explained, “The doctors’ diagnoses of them is very crucial. In other words, the doctors would have to assess whether their recovery period is going to be long and difficult. If it is, then an affidavit from the doctor regarding their condition would be sufficient for the court to dispense with John and Connie’s consent. In the event the court does not grant such dispensation, then we will have to wait for the recovery or death whichever comes first. However, I feel that your family has to give time for the doctors to assess before jumping to any conclusion. Now, assuming that if both John and Connie regain consciousness but are unable to carry out the Administrator’s’ job, then they have to renounce their position and decide on who is best to replace them.

After talking to Dave, Michelle approached Connie’s sister, Jessica who was at the hospital with Connie’s three children. Michelle then explained to Jessica the options which Dave had told her depending on the outcome of the doctors’ diagnoses. Jessica felt that it was best for Connie to recover first to enable her to make a decision on the alternative Administrator. She further said, “If you ask me, I would prefer her to choose an independent third party as the Administrator of her husband’s estate if she recovers and could not do the job.” This she said was to be fair to Connie and her children. Then Michelle asked “Okay! then what is your opinion of appointing a Corporate Trustee which is impartial in their duties?” Jessica replied, “That sounds better but it still depends on Connie’s decision.”

After her conversation with Jessica, Michelle immediately briefed her mother, Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s first wife) and siblings about what Dave and Jessica had told her. In response, Michelle family members decided to give it a few days hoping that both could at least regain consciousness. In addition, the family was of the opinion that the last resort of appointing a ‘Corporate Trustee’ if Connie requests to do so, can be acceptable so long as it expedites the L.A. application.

To be continued…

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