Setting Up a Trust

Advantages :

√          Managed by independent professionals;

√          Fully in compliance with settlor’s wish.


Disadvantages :

♠         High set up and running cost;

♠         Beneficiaries bear the running cost after the death of the settlor;

♠         Beneficiaries will suffer if the trustee mismanages the trust and cause loss in


♠         Change of trustee need the sanction of court with long proceedings and high cost;

♠         Dispute and litigation by beneficiaries may not be avoided.

Case :

Anita Mui’s mother hurls shoes at lawyer

Mui died of cervical cancer in December 2003 at the age of 40. Before her death, she made a will and set up the Karen Trust.

The will said Mui’s assets of HK$100 million would go to the trust, which provided her mother, Tam Mei-kam, 88, with an allowance. The balance after Tam’s death would go to the New Horizon Buddhist Association.

The mother of late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong threw objects at a lawyer in January 2013 after the court decided she could no longer receive HK$120,000 a month in living expenses from her daughter’s trust.

Tam hurled a pink object, the cap of a thermal bottle and a pair of shoes at Kevin So, solicitor for HSBC International Trustee, the administrator of Mui’s trust.

In 2012 a judge said Tam, who had earlier been declared bankrupt, could keep the monthly allowance. But Mr Justice Poon ruled in January 2013 that Tam should not receive it because the trust, which owed HK$40 million, could not pay the debt.

The estate has been drained by steep administration costs, which five years ago were running at HK$300,000 a month.

The court heard that the trust had recently sold a property for HK$8 million to raise funds to repay its debts.

Tam challenged the validity of the will a few months later and has been in and out of court ever since. In May 2011, Mr Justice Patrick Chan Siu-oi said in the Court of Final Appeal that her case was “entirely without merit”.