Case Update: Lian Kok Hong v Lian Bee Leng and another [2016] SGCA 24 – SGCA clarifies law on contentious probate and suspicious circumstances regarding execution and preparation of will

Significance: Singapore Court of Appeal clarifies that in determining whether a testator had testamentary capacity and/or knowledge of the contents of the will, the Court cannot regard all suspicious circumstances, whether or not they relate to the execution and preparation of the will, to be taken into account in determining if the usual presumption that a testator who has testamentary capacity knew and approved the contents of the will operates. Circumstances are relevant only if they attend or relate to the preparation and execution of the will. Otherwise, all kinds of non-related circumstances may be used to rebut the presumption. See [60]. Chee Mu Lin Muriel v Chee Ka Lin Caroline (Chee Ping Chian Alexander and another, interveners) [2010] 4 SLR 373 affirmed, clarified.

Case Update: HSBC Trustee (Singapore) Limited v Carolyn Fong Wai Lyn [2016] SGHC 31

Case Update: HSBC Trustee (Singapore) Limited v Carolyn Fong Wai Lyn [2016] SGHC 31

Significance: Singapore High Court interprets will holistically (as opposed to a clause-specific construction), orders estate’s properties to be mortgaged to raise funds for professional trustees’ fees and costs, and refuses to order that trustees be discharged as Court found it was not in the interests of beneficiaries given the ongoing litigation in relation to the estate.