Taipan’s will ‘airtight,’ can stand legal scrutiny
The last will and testament of the late taipan George SK Ty—written in September 2015 when he was still active and healthy—can withstand court scrutiny as it is “airtight,” “freely executed” and backed by a “legitimate” marriage recognized by Philippine laws.
This was the statement of sources from the side of the Ty family that petitioned the Makati Regional Trial Court for the probate of the tycoon’s will, which is now being challenged based on the claim that the tycoon married Lourdes de Lara Ty, now 82, in Hong Kong back in 1961 that allegedly made her the “legitimate” spouse.
“We have documents that will evidence that they were not married. Given the situation today, I don’t know if they will come up with questionable documents to try and prove it,” a source from the petitioner’s family said in an interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday night. “Even in private conversations, they admit that they don’t have a marriage certificate.”
On the other hand, the source claimed that George and Mary Vy Ty—recognized by the late taipan in the will as his wife and the person who petitioned to be the administrator of the estate—had a valid marriage on July 3, 1965. There was a church ceremony in the Vatican that was followed by a civil wedding in the Philippines that year, the source noted.
Ty Siao Kian, (the Chinese name of George SK Ty), had signed a last will and testament bequeathing his estate to Mary Vy, 78, and ensuring the legitime or compulsory inheritance of their four children, Arthur, Alfred, Anjanette and Alesandra.
“There’s no question that they (George and Mary) were married and this marriage was recognized under Philippine laws. Normally we would say ‘let the court decide,’ but this (talking to the media) is all dirty tactics. They want to make this into a circus,” the source from the petitioner’s side lamented.
The late taipan had two other children with Lourdes, namely, Anthony and Margaret Ty-Cham. Based on the will, however, Margaret was disinherited for “questionable” and “irregular” financial transactions that resulted in a P2-billion bailout and caused “much pain and embarrassment” to the late patriarch and the entire family.
The sources from the petitioner’s side cast doubts on the authenticity of Lourdes’ claims, adding that the late tycoon George Ty himself—back when he was still alive and doing his estate planning—had outrightly denied several times that he married her. “Multiple times, he denied vehemently and there is no reason for us to doubt it,” one source said.
Outside of the disputed estate, the source also claimed that the late tycoon had already taken care of Lourdes and left her with enough assets to maintain a “more than comfortable” life.
The source also noted that George and Lourdes’ son, Anthony—who is now based in the United States—still had a share of the estate. And while Margaret had been disinherited, her children will still be given their fair share albeit she could not be the administrator of these assets.
The tycoon stopped visiting Lourdes’ house in 2015, at around the time that he disowned their daughter Margaret after a P2-billion bailout of her liabilities. In 2017, a controversial public notice was issued stating that the Ty family or any of the companies under the group would no longer recognize any transaction entered into by Margaret.
“Mr. Ty puts a very big premium on his name. For clients who trust him, he has to be a man of integrity. He has expectations. Then, there’s this daughter who goes around, borrowing and giving PDCs (post-dated checks) —kiting checks. This is the kind of thing that he does not condone,” the source said, adding that after an earlier bailout, the late tycoon was upset that this daughter “got back to doing the same thing.” “To date, we still don’t know where that money went.”
George Ty passed away on Nov. 23, 2018, at St. Luke’s Medical Center BGC after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 86.
The petition filed at the court said that the tycoon had left properties in the Philippines, both real and personal, in the amount of P3 billion. In due time, the petition said an inventory of these properties would be filed with the court.
Over the last 10 years, the source said the tycoon had already “legitimately sold and transferred some of his assets as part of his estate planning.” As such, the source said it was only P3 billion that was now left as part of the estate that was submitted to the court for execution.
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