Children of murdered HK socialite Abby Choi may take 5 years to inherit $51m estate: Report
Hong Kong socialite Abby Choi’s four children may take four to five years before they can inherit her HK$300 million (S$51 million) estate, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Ms Choi, 28, who lived in the rarefied world of Hong Kong’s celebrities and social media influencers, was murdered in February.
Her former husband, Alex Kwong, 28, was arrested and charged that month in connection with the brutal killing, along with his 65-year-old father Kwong Kau, 63-year-old mother Jenny Li and brother Anthony Kwong, 31.
The grisly details of Ms Choi’s murder attracted worldwide media attention. Her head and several body parts were found in a large soup pot in a rented village house in Tai Po, a suburb in Hong Kong, days after she was reported missing.
The inheritance is being held up because Ms Choi did not register her marriage with her long-time partner Chris Tam, the Hong Kong newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a source.
The source said: “Her heirs will need to wait for the conclusion of the murder case, which may take years if the involved parties seek an appeal.
“Then there will be an inquest to conclude Ms Choi’s cause of death, after which her death certificate will be issued. The whole process will be lengthy and complex.”
Ms Choi and Mr Tam underwent wedding rites in 2016 without legally registering their marriage.
She is survived by four children aged three, six, eight and 10. Mr Tam is the father of the younger two, while the two older children were fathered by Alex Kwong.
Ms Choi’s estate includes a luxury apartment worth HK$73 million at Kadoorie Hill in Kowloon Tong – one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious addresses.
Ms Choi reportedly bought the 1,820 sq ft apartment under her former father-in-law’s name. The police had earlier said a property dispute is a possible motive for the murder.
The newspaper quoted a lawyer as saying that since Ms Choi’s children are under 18, their next of kin can apply to be appointed as the estate’s trustees and hold the children’s share in a trust. This means they must keep the relevant assets properly on behalf of the children.
Once all the children reach the age of 18, they can apply to the court to dissolve the trust and formally receive their share under a joint agreement, he added.
Ms Choi’s mother, Cheung Yin-fa, filed a writ in the High Court in March to restrain Kwong Kau from selling the Kadoorie Hill apartment. She sought to declare Ms Choi as the beneficial owner of the luxury flat.
In an interview with SCMP published on Sunday, Mr Tam, the son of the founder of popular restaurant chain TamJai Yunnan Mixian, said he met Ms Choi through her ex-husband, who was his junior high classmate.
He said Alex Kwong later met Ms Choi when he switched schools, and the three often met up.
“I met her when we were still nobodies. I am a very simple person and an introvert, and our conversations were mostly about our family and children,” he added.
“I am not someone who is good at expressing myself… But I will always love her, and she is always on my mind.”