The children of a Singaporean billionaire who owned an enormous amount of Australian real estate have learned one final, harsh lesson in obeying their father after he died, leaving them his estate.
According the The Australian, before he died, Tee Peng Tay ordered his six children to sell all of his assets and divide the cash between them.
Unfortunately, it seems they thought they knew better, and four of them decided to keep the real estate, which included an apartment in the “Toaster” building near the Opera House and the $395 million Suncorp Tower office block in Sydney’s CBD.
Their dad gave the orders obviously knowing something they didn’t, and as a result, the decision to divide the real estate rather than sell has cost Tay’s youngest son CY Tay more than $29m in land taxes and legal fees.
Had they followed their father’s instructions, they – or he – would not be facing this huge bill.
When Tay died in 2013, his will stated that his $1.7 billion estate was to be divided between four of his children. Separate gifts were provided to two daughters, and nothing for his wife.
Instead of following his wishes, the four children entered into a deed of family agreement to divide up the shares and property.
As a result, when the youngest son took shares in a private real estate company instead of cash, he legally become a Sydney landlord and as such owed land tax of $25.9m on his new assets, plus interest of $1.96m.
In two separate Supreme Court rulings, the bill stuck.