An elderly widow, Lim Hoon Neo, is suing her eldest grandson for a 60.3 per cent stake in their family home, a double-storey terraced house at 102 Farrer Road.
The 80-year-old’s late husband – Mr Ang Ho Sai who passed away in 2014 at age 83 – had willed the home, worth $4 million, to their youngest son and eldest grandson and appointed his eldest grandson, Ang Wee Chai, as the sole executor of his estate before he passed.
Who does the house belong to?
Lim alleged in court that she paid 60.3 per cent or $22,000 of the price of the Farrer Road house, which she had bought with her husband for $36,500.
While Lim had been a homemaker after quitting her job as an amah in Alexandra Hospital drawing $96 monthly, following the birth of her third child, she apparently supplemented her household income by renting out rooms in her old house, by selling homemade rice wine, and giving friendly loans to her neighbours.
Her husband paid for the household expenses since he worked full-time as a peon in the British army, before running a car rental business and a watch business later on.
Lim claimed that since her husband handled the transaction of the house, the estate was placed under his name.
The elderly widow is now asking the High Court to rule that she has the right to stay in the house until it is sold, after which she would get 60.3 per cent of the proceeds.
Grandmother is hindering attempts to carry out Grandfather’s last wishes
Lim’s eldest grandson, Ang Wee Chai, has said that his grandmother and two of his uncles have been hindering his attempts to carry out his grandfather’s last wishes, by refusing to cooperate in selling the house, as stated in the will.
In response, Ang filed an application in the Family and Justice Court, last year, asking for an order to let him administer the estate by ordering the sale of the property and for the court to order his grandmother to vacate the house.
Ang contends that his grandmother filed the High Court lawsuit in retaliation.
He further revealed in court that his grandfather and grandmother – who had married at age 18 and 14 respectively – had not been on good terms more than 20 years ago and had slept in separate rooms.
His claim was backed by Lim’s granddaughter who testified that she seldom saw the two in the same room or talking to each other.
Lim vehemently denied their accusations. She told the Chinese daily:
“How can this be? If it was really how they depicted it, why didn’t I ask for a divorce?”
Lim further added that her grandson ransacked the home with fellow family members, looking for the will, while her husband’s funeral proceedings were ongoing.
Stating that she did not even know that her husband had left a will and that she was unaffected that he did not leave her a share of the house, Lim claimed that she was instead indignant that her grandson is “monopolising” her home and trying to evict her.
Interestingly, court documents reveal that Lim had previously sued her eldest son over a shop house, but the matter had been resolved out of court.