Anita Mui’s millions to stay in trust fund after mother loses court appeal

Channel News Asia
10 May 2011

HONG KONG: Years after Cantopop diva Anita Mui passed away in 2003 from cervical cancer, the legal tussle over her estate finally came to a close on Monday.

Hong Kong courts dismissed a lawsuit brought by Mui’s mother Tam Mei-Kam and elder brother Peter Mui disputing Mui’s will, which bequeathed the bulk of her estate to a trust fund and only gave Tam a monthly allowance of HK$70,000 (S$12,600).

Mui was reportedly concerned that giving Tam control of her estate would cause her to spend the money unwisely, preferring to ensure Tam would lead a comfortable life by giving her a regular allowance for the rest of her days.

Tam’s allowance was later changed to HK$120,000 (S$21,600) after her numerous court appeals, but Tam, 88, continued to contest Mui’s will, filing a fresh appeal in 2010.

Tam again contended that Mui was not of sound mind when she made her will and wanted full control of her estate.

However, Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal was satisfied that Mui had been lucid when she made her will and dismissed Tam’s latest appeal.

Tam expressed she had no plans to contest her daughter’s will again but Mui’s elder brother Peter Mui said he will look for another opportunity to overturn the court’s decision.

The legal costs of Tam’s repeated appeals, which were entirely borne by Mui’s estate, coupled with the monthly allowance paid to Tam has been quite a financial burden.

Earlier this year, administrators of Mui’s estate were forced to rent out Mui’s luxurious former residence – one of five properties Mui owns in Hong Kong – at HK$107,000 (S$16,970) a month, some 40 percent below market value, in order to keep paying Tam’s allowance and cover the various upkeep costs of her estate.