3 siblings in S'pore fighting over S$3.1 million inheritance, eldest claims he was the 'favourite'

The parents willed the properties to the youngest son, but the eldest son is a co-owner of the properties under joint tenancy.

Tanya Ong | July 07, 2021, 07:37 PM

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Three siblings are currently battling it out in court over an inheritance left behind by their parents.

Their mother had passed away in 2013, while their father had passed away in 2019.

The case was tried in court last week, with trial resuming on July 7.

What is the fight about?

According to a Lianhe Wanbao report, the inheritance is worth S$3.1 million, involving a semi-detached house along Sunrise Avenue and a shophouse unit.

The semi-detached had been sold for S$1.6 million in 2020, with two-thirds of the proceeds currently being held by the court. The shophouse, which has a market price of around S$1.5 million, is currently being rented out.

In their individual wills, both parents had willed the shophouse and landed unit to their youngest son.

However, both properties were co-owned by their parents and the eldest brother.

Properties mostly paid for by parents

The Chinese daily reported while the eldest Lin had helped to pay the downpayment for the Sunrise Avenue home, it was largely paid for by their parents.

As for the shophouse in Ang Mo Kio, while he was also made a co-owner, the loan repayments were made by his parents.

The younger siblings, 46-year-old Lin Sihui and 36-year-old Lin Chuanzhi, are of the position that the shophouse and two-thirds of the landed unit should be counted as their parents' estate, rather than solely belonging to the eldest son.

Joint tenancy, was parents' "favourite"

The eldest son, 48-year-old Lin Chuanwei, claimed that he was his parents' "favourite" as he excelled academically, and had graduated from the University of Cambridge.

According to his younger siblings, their parents had made him a co-owner of the Sunrise Avenue and Ang Mo Kio shophouse properties, as they were considering a longer loan repayment period. He was 21 when his parents made him a co-owner of the Ang Mo Kio property.

He was also made co-owner of the Sunrise Avenue property when they purchased it five years later in 1999.

The daughter's name was not considered for joint-tenancy as she was about to get married at that time, and was planning to buy a home, Lianhe Wanbao reported the younger siblings as saying.

According to the law, the ownership of the house is automatically transferred to the surviving joint tenant when one of the owners dies.

HDB states on its website:

"In joint tenancy, the right of survivorship applies. This means that upon the demise of any joint owner, his interest in the flat would automatically be passed on to the remaining co-owners. This is regardless of whether the deceased joint owner has left behind a Will."

H/T: Lianhe Wanbao

Top photo via Google Streetview.