A Matter of Trust
Two weeks prior to May Hunter's marriage in 1903, Anne Hunter alias Kot Choy transferred a property on Shelley Street from her name as sole owner, to a trusteeship between herself and her daughter May. On her death in 1937 this property should have passed directly to her daughter May.
On Jan 31, 1937, Anne Hunter alias Kot Choy did indeed pass away. This event should have left a single trustee for this property; May Cock, nee May Hunter, daughter of the deceased.
Anne Hunter alias Kot Choy died intestate. My grandfather Tobias Hunter and his sister May Cock, who both lived in Shanghai at he time, petitioned for administration of the estate.
There is no mention of the Shelley Street property in the following liquidation of assets nor in the letter of disbursements. May Hunter was a co-administrator, so she was active in the process.
There was another property owned by Kot Choy that formed part of the estate; 4 Moreton Terrace, the property that first brought my attention to any of this.
Letters of administration were duly granted and they went about the winding up of her affairs. Funeral expenses were paid, and various legal disbursements made and the Moreton Terrace house was sold in 1939. The proceeds of the sale was held in hopes of better exchange rates between Hong Kong and Shanghai dollars. Sadly this proved to be a poor choice and considerable value was lost.
Still, there was money left so in Sept 1940 a 1/4 share was split between my mother and her sister. The other three, quarter shares, I'm not sure about as they had obviously been disbursed a year earlier.
James was dead so anything due to him would have presumably gone to his daughter Ellen, who remained living at the Shelley Street residence until her death in 1944. Everyone else was back in Shanghai now, except my mother's sister Nora who was working in Kuala Lumpur. So who shared in "G's" estate? Maybe just the boys, George and my grandfather as May had been taken care of by the Shelley Street property she got in the trust?
This brings me back to the Shelley Street property, originally held by Kot Choy at a value of $6250 in 1899 and transferred to the trust Mar 31, 1903.
*Note: May this is where May's sole ownership of the property should be recorded? Just sayin'
The next transaction is a transfer to "Wu Siu Ying" on Mar 2, 1961 and registered June 9, 1961. In case anyone missed it, "Wu Siu Ying" is Ellen Hunter's step-mother. She was aged 43 when Ellen died and was the concubine of her father, James Hunter ) The co-petitioner for Ellen's estate was her adopted sister, "Fok Shuk Chun"
This transaction to "Wu Siu Ying" is marked as a "deed of gift" with no value shown.
A year later, in Sept, 1962 this property changes hands again to "Chen Shui Ling" with a value of $73,000.
And finally a year after that, in July of 1963 it goes to "Leung Yu Yee" with a new value of $232,000.
What happened to the trust?