Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chinese Businesswoman's Fortune Given Outright or In Trust?

Images-3Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum is a Chinese businesswoman who passed away in 2007 at the age of 69. Last year, the Court of Final Appeal recognized a 2002 will leaving Wang's money to the charity and declared another 2006 will to be a forgery.  Now hearings continue to determine whether that money was meant to be an outright gift or left in trust.  Wang was thought to be Asia's richest woman and her estate is valued at HK$83 billion.

Frank Hinks QC is a lawyer from the Chinachem Charitable Foundation who recently appeared before the Court of First Instance to argue that Wang intended to give her fortune to Chinachem Charitable Foundation absolutely as opposed to on trust.  He said that there was no evidence that she even knew what a trust was and trust is an alien concept to a Chinese businesswoman.

The secretary of justice argues against Hinks, proposing that Wang left the money to the foundation to hold as trustee to carry out Wang's wishes.  The hearing will continue before Mr Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor.  

See Joyce Man, Trust Fund 'alien concept' For Nina Wang, Says Chinachem Foundation Lawyer, South China Morning Post, Dec. 19, 2012.  

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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