Mdm Tan says, for 26 years, she has paid the Housing Board $277 each month – mortgage instalments for the three-room flat that she lives in and paid over $117,000, including upgrading costs and conservancy charges but she might soon have to leave her home because she learnt that her granddaughters were trying to sell the flat.(As seen on THE STRAITS TIMES)
Both granddaughters are the registered owners of the flat, which they inherited when their father died in 2009.
Madam Tan said she had single-handedly paid for the flat since its purchase in 1990. Her granddaughters were only holding it in trust for her, she said. In her affidavit, she said they were trying to sell it and “swallow” the proceeds.
She was registered as an owner of the flat in 1992, after the other flat was sold. But seven years later, Mr Ng chalked up about $100,000 in debts, she said. He then purportedly asked her for help. She said he wanted her to sell him her share of the flat so he could get an HDB loan on the pretext of paying her.
She said she did not get any money from the sale, but lent him $61,000 instead. He used the entire sum to pay creditors, she said.
In 2009, Mr Ng died after a heart attack. The sisters inherited the flat, along with his mortgage life insurance payout of $40,200.
Ms Ng said the flat was an asset passed down to both sisters by their father, which they should be able to sell, and they had offered Madam Tan an alternative place to live – with Ms Isabella Ng at her upcoming BTO flat in Choa Chu Kang.
Said Ms Michelle Ng, a former marketing executive: “I’m not working at the moment. I’m expecting my second child. I’m not taking the money to go and enjoy myself.”
The relationship between the grandchildren and Madam Tan would most likely turn sour after this incident is exposed.
This sad state of affairs could have been avoided if the late Mr Ng had done proper estate planning.
Why is there a need to write a will?
When there is no will, the law decides on the persons who are to benefit from your estate. This is termed “intestacy”. You should never assume that your assets would go to the persons you want to benefit. In Singapore, the rules governing the distribution of an intestate’s property are stated in the Intestate Succession Act (Cap 146). There are prescribed rules for distribution and, these rules may not be in line with your distribution wishes. Leave nothing to chance. Make a will and the law will protect your wishes.
With a will, you can:
- Decide who your beneficiaries shall be
- Decide the persons whom you wish to entrust with the responsibility of dealing with and distributing your estate
- Determine the specific assets that are to be given to each beneficiary and when they are to receive such gifts
- Specify which assets should first be used to pay your debts
- Expedite probate and avoid the need for an administration bond
- Appoint guardians for minor children