Man died before marriage could be annulled

When Ms Caroline Edmund read about the Chan sisters' plight in Ms Chan Jee May's forum letter on Nov 30, she could sympathise.

The accountant, in her 50s, told The Straits Times that her family has been waiting for four years now to collect nearly $50,000 from her late brother's CPF account.

Her brother Ignatius Edmund, a 42-year-old boarding officer, had been trying to get his marriage to a Filipino woman annulled, after not hearing from her for seven years.

But before the annulment could be finalised, he was killed in a traffic collision in India.

Under Singapore's inheritance laws, Mr Edmund's parents can get only half his CPF money unless his wife comes forward to state that she does not want the money.

Ms Edmund said they hired a lawyer to track down the woman, who was found to be living in the United States with another man. All their attempts to contact her have been ignored.

Ms Edmund's mother last went to the Public Trustee's Office (PTO) in May to plead their case. She died last month. Ms Edmund's 83-year-old father is now living in India.

Ms Edmund said: "If we had the rest of the money, my dad could afford to buy an apartment in Singapore and live here... We've tried to come at it from all angles, but they (the PTO) are so rigid. I'm so tired of this whole thing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Man died before marriage could be annulled'. Print Edition | Subscribe