Tussle over widow's assets: Hearing on rich widow's new will fixed for March 31

SINGAPORE- The hearing to recognise a new will made by wealthy widow Madam Chung Khin Chun has been set for March 31.

This was revealed to reporters after a pre-trial conference on Wednesday by lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, who represents the 88-year-old widow.

For now, both Madam Chung and the former China tour guide Yang Yin will not be required to be present at the hearing, he said.

The new will, which leaves most of the 88-year-old's assets to charity, is supposed to replace a previous one in which she had left everything to Yang. According to Madam Chung's niece, Madam Hedy Mok, the new will signed by her aunt was drafted according to the widow's wishes.

In the previous will made on Dec 16, 2010, when Yang was living with her, Madam Chung named him the sole executor and trustee and also the beneficiary of her entire estate, which is believed to be worth $40 million.

Yang, 41, is now questioning if the new will was validly made. "The mental capacity of Madam Chung has been a topic of severe scrutiny from the courts, the media and public," Yang said.

"I do not see how a fresh will purportedly executed by Madam Chung, age 87, was validly made, if at all."

Yang, who has been in remand since Oct 31 last year, also faces more than 300 charges in total including two criminal breach of trust charges for allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from the wealthy widow.

Madam Chung had met Yang in 2008 when he acted as her private tour guide while on a trip to Beijing. During the trip, he claims, Madam Chung asked him to be her "grandson".

He continued to keep in touch with her when she returned to Singapore - speaking to each other for up to 40 minutes every week - and later started visiting her here, court papers said.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg