Tussle over widow's assets: Former China tour guide Yang Yin gets approval to liquidate insurance policies to pay for fees, costs

SINGAPORE- Former China tour guide Yang Yin has received a $98,000 lifeline to pay for his legal fees and expenses.

At a High Court hearing on Monday, the court decided that the 41-year-old Chinese national would be able to liquidate two insurance policies worth $98,000 to pay for his legal fees and cost of expenses.

The court would have to approve that amounts before they can be released to Yang, said his lawyer Joseph Liow.

Mr Liow added that both insurance policies are said to be worth $98,000.

The decision comes on the back of an earlier application filed by the 41-year-old who had been seeking to withdraw $12,000 a month from his frozen bank accounts for personal and legal expenses.

That application has since been dismissed by the court, said Mr Peter Doraisamy, the lawyer acting for Madam Hedy Mok, niece of rich widow Madam Chung Khin Chun.

The Singapore permanent resident's assets were frozen in August last year after Madam Mok accused Yang of masterminding control over her aunt's assets, estimated to be worth $40 million, including a $30 million bungalow in Gerald Crescent off Yio Chu Kang Road.

Mr Doraisamy said that they will have two weeks to appeal the decision and that he would be seeking his client's instructions on the matter.

Madam Chung met Yang in 2008, when he was her tour guide in China. The next year, he moved into her bungalow.

In 2010, she made a will leaving him all her assets, including the bungalow. Yang claims the widow, who has no children and whose husband died in 2007, treated him like a grandson.

Two years later, she granted him a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which gave him control over her assets.

Madam Mok has sued Yang for allegedly breaching his duties under the LPA, which was revoked last November. Madam Chung has also made a new will which leaves her fortune to charity. Her niece has filed it with the Family Court and asked the court to execute it on her aunt's behalf.

Besides the civil court cases filed by Madam Mok, Yang who has been in remand since October 31 last year, faces more than 300 criminal charges. The most serious charges are two counts of criminal breach of trust for allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from Madam Chung.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg