Family members sue for share of flat

PHOTO: Family members sue for share of flat

SINGAPORE - Madam Ching Choong Hwa had willed her four-room Housing Board flat on Holland Avenue to be shared equally among her four children after she died.

The elderly housewife died of pneumonia at the age of 80 on Jan 6, 2011.

Two of her children had died before her, in 2010, but she did not update her will.

Her two surviving children then sold the flat at Block 2, Holland Avenue for $536,204, and split the money between themselves sometime in October 2011.

Now they are being taken to court by the children and a husband of their dead siblings for their shares of the flat.

Madam Ching's grandson, Mr Joshua Chee Teck An, 26, her granddaughter, Ms Melody Peh Ya Wen, in her 20s, and her son-in-law, Mr Peh Leng Sing, in his 40s, are suing her youngest son, Mr Chee Weoi Seng, 53, and the wife of her second son, Ms Sharon Low Ah Hoon, for their share of the flat, amounting to $268,102.

The plaintiffs are represented by Mr Chia Boon Teck and Ms Wong Kai Yun of Chia Wong LLP.

Madam Ching's second son, Mr Richard Chee Woei Meng, 56, is not a trustee because he was an undischarged bankrupt in 2003, when her will was filed.

Court documents state that both defendants and Mr Richard Chee allege that they lent $553,365 to Madam Ching between 1987 and 2004, and they had used the proceeds of the flat to repay themselves.

The trio claimed they made a verbal agreement with Madam Ching in 1986 that their contributions towards her livelihood would be regarded as "loans" and they could recover their loans from the sale proceeds of her flat.

Mr Richard Chee claimed he had lent $156,000 to his mother between January 1987 and December 2003, and his younger brother lent her $168,000 from March 1993 to February 2004.

They claimed Madam Ching had verbally agreed to pay her daughter-in-law, Ms Low, $5,000 a month for taking care of her from February 2004 to March 2006. The amount came up to $130,000.

They said the remaining $82,000 was used to pay others, but no details were stated.

In their suit, the plaintiffs say the defendants failed to keep or produce proper records of their alleged agreements with Madam Ching and their alleged contributions towards her living expenses.

They also claim the defendants took advantage of the deaths of Madam Ching and her two children to concoct fictitious agreements between the defendants and Madam Ching.