In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 45)


By Peter Lee

While the Trust Company representative (TCR) was going through all the local and overseas bank accounts of Lee Sr’s estate, Dave (Lee Sr’s family lawyer) pointed out that there was a problem with a Singapore bank account which Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s 1st wife) and Lee Sr are joint account holders. Mrs Patricia Lee had closed and withdrawn the entire $3 million from this account. This is the account where Connie (Lee Sr’s 2nd wife) wants to claim her entitlement to her husband’s share. The Trust Company representative then contacted Mrs Patricia Lee and asked her to release half the amount to them. Mrs Patricia Lee was initially quite reluctant to release it but after explaining to her about the consequences if Connie were to take legal action and the delay that this will cause, she agreed to release it to the Trust Company.

With this resolved, the Trust Company representative moved on and discussed with Dave on the next asset which is the Unit Trust/Mutual Funds. Dave explained that there are three joint unit trust accounts jointly owned by Lee Sr and Mrs Patricia Lee. Furthermore, there are also some unit trust statements jointly owned by Lee Sr with his other children, namely, John, Michelle, Nick, Steven, Sandy and Nancy in which Dave gave some of the statements to the representative and also asked what if Mrs Patricia Lee and his children transferred all these units to her name.

To this, the Trust Company Representative said “What we know is that some unit trust companies will transfer all the units to the survivor if the surviving unit holder informed them on the death of the other joint unit holder. Therefore, I need to check with Mrs Patricia Lee because half of her husband’s ownership is still subject to the Distribution Act 1958. The Trust Company Representative asked about Connie’s unit trust with Lee Sr in which Dave handed over some statements which are solely owned by Lee Sr as there were no joint name ownership with Connie and her three children.

As both Dave and Trust Company Representative continued with their discussion, Dave handed further documents like the shares in listed companies held by Lee Sr in the local and overseas bourses. Dave pointed out that the overseas bourses are in Singapore and U.K. The Trust Company Representative reiterated, “For extracting the overseas shares, they would have to first obtain the Letter of Administration and then apply for a resealing order from these respective overseas countries. The alternative is to apply for the Letters of Administration directly in those countries. I think we will decide after gathering the entire estate’s assets. Now, are there any other shares in other countries?” In response, Dave said “As far I know, that’s about it.”  The Trust Company Representative then continued and asked “Now, tell me about the properties under Lee Sr solely and those that are jointly owned with his family members.” Dave explained that there are three properties which are jointly owned by Lee Sr and Mrs Patricia Lee. There are another three more properties which are solely owned by Lee Sr and these properties are mortgaged to the bank for a personal loan to Lee Sr. The Trust Company Representative interrupted and said, “We will have to check the amount still owing to the bank at the moment. If the amount owing is still not settled then we can face a problem with executing the distribution.”

To be continued…

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