Ex-tour guide contests widow's new will

Ex-tour guide contests widow's new will
Madam Hedy Mok (left) and Madam Chung Khin Chun arriving in court on April 17, 2015.

FORMER tour guide Yang Yin is contesting a rich, elderly widow's new will that cuts him off and leaves him with nothing.

On Thursday evening, Yang, 41, filed a notice of appeal against the Family Court's decision last week to execute a will that leaves most of Madam Chung Khin Chun's assets to charity.

Yang's lawyer Joseph Liow told The Straits Times yesterday: "At this time, we can state only that our client is dissatisfied with the decision and hence has appealed."

They are now waiting for the court's permission to proceed with the appeal, added Yang's other lawyer Daniel Zhu.

Yang had stood to inherit millions, including Madam Chung's $30 million bungalow in Gerald Crescent, after her death, according to a 2010 will made by the 88-year-old.

Madam Hedy Mok, Madam Chung's 61-year-old niece, said yesterday: "We are prepared to fight all the way - no turning back."

Yang, who met Madam Chung in 2008 while acting as her private tour guide in Beijing, moved into her bungalow the next year and claimed the childless widow treated him as her "grandson". In 2010, Madam Chung changed her will so that her fortune would go to him on her death.

Last September, Madam Mok evicted him, his wife and young daughter from the bungalow, and started proceedings to claw back money she alleges he siphoned from Madam Chung.

The court last Monday executed a statutory will on Madam Chung's behalf that had no mention of Yang. According to a 1989 will and the draft of a 2009 will, she had wanted to leave most of her fortune to charity.

Lawyer Peter Doraisamy, who acts for Madam Mok, said this was the first time a Singapore court has executed a statutory will, which is made for a person who lacks the mental capacity to do it herself.

The widow, who is now living with her niece, was diagnosed with dementia last year.

Mr Doraisamy also said after a closed-door hearing at the Family Justice Courts yesterday that Madam Mok has been granted full deputy powers to manage her aunt's assets and welfare. But until Yang's appeal is heard, she has to ensure that she does not make any decision that can affect his interests in the assets.

Yang, who has been in remand since Oct 31 last year, faces more than 300 charges, including two involving criminal breach of trust for allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from Madam Chung.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg


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