By Peter Lee
As both Dave (Lawyer) and the Trust Company Representative (TCR) were discussing the list of assets in Lee Sr’s estate, Dave informed TCR that there were three properties jointly owned by Lee Sr and Mrs Patricia Lee. Dave further said “Mrs Patricia Lee’s intention is to keep these properties instead of following the Distribution Act and not distributing to other family members especially to Connie. The other family members except Connie are willing to renounce their entitlement to these three properties. I was informed by the family that John was negotiating with Connie on renouncing her entitlement to these properties and give it back to Mrs Patricia Lee. Apparently, Connie requested for a payment for this renunciation. That’s when the car accident occurred which left them incapable of acting as Co-Administrators of Lee Sr’s estate and at the same time unable to complete their negotiation.”
TCR interrupted and said “Under these circumstances, I would have to speak to Connie again on this. If she still insists on payment for this, then we have to ask a valuer to value these properties so that we have an independent valuation for both parties to bargain. However, I have to speak to Mrs Patricia Lee first and ascertain whether she is willing to pay Connie and then to speak to Connie to see if she is willing to walk away from these properties and let Mrs Patricia Lee have it. Otherwise, Connie and her three minor children’s entitlement to Lee Sr’s 50% ownership on these properties is like being entangled in a spider’s web for all the wrong reasons for both the families.” TCR further asked Dave whether these properties are free from encumbrances. “As far as I know, these properties are not charged to any banks,” was Dave’s response.
TCR continued and asked “Dave! You have mentioned to me earlier that Lee Sr has another three properties which are solely owned by him and I believe they are all mortgaged to the bank for his personal borrowings. Am I correct?” “Yes” was Dave’s response. TCR then asked “Are there any properties jointly owned by Lee Sr and Connie?” In reply, Dave said “Yes. There are two properties involved which again are mortgaged to the banks for banking facilities.” TCR asked “Have they discussed on the payment of bank facilities in order for those properties to be discharged.” Dave said “Yes, I have told the family either to use their own funds for discharge or otherwise check whether Lee Sr has some Insurance or EPF monies which can help to settle these loans. I think you have to brief them on this. After all, whoever pays will be reimbursed once the Letter of Administration (L.A) is obtained.” To this, TCR said “It is common that the Mortgage Reducing/Loan Term Assurance will factor into the loan letter of offer so that when a person passes away, their loan instalment will be settled by this insurance. However, I will have to check on Lee Sr’s status on his coverage first because in the old days many purchasers do not believe in insurance and also felt that they have sufficient cash to finance any discharge of properties.”
To be continued…