The battle for the fortune of Asia's wealthiest woman moved into the courtroom Monday, with a feng shui master, a charity and the dead woman's father-in-law all claiming the right to her billions.
At least two wills have surfaced since property magnate Nina Wang died April 3, at the age of 69. She was reportedly suffering from ovarian cancer.
It is not known what relationship feng shui master Chan Chun-chuen had with Wang, but Chan claimed Wang's 2006 will named him to be her sole beneficiary.
Two other parties are vying for a slice of Wang's reported $4.2 billion fortune, including the family of her late husband, Teddy Wang, who was kidnapped in 1990 and never seen again. He was officially declared dead in 1999.
Wang, known in Hong Kong as "Little Sweetie" for her girlish outfits and pigtails hairdo, inherited her husband's fortune after an eight-year court battle against her father-in-law, Wang Din-shin.
She built Teddy Wang's company, Chinachem, into a massive property developer, with office towers and apartment complexes throughout Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the charity Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. set up by Nina Wang also filed a writ claiming that a 2002 will in which she left them her entire fortune was valid and final.
On Monday, Chan applied to a Hong Kong court to appoint an administrator to protect Wang's estate while the battle over who holds the rightful will continued.
Little is known about Chan, although local media described him as a feng shui master. His lawyer, Jonathan Midgley, however, said he is a 48-year-old real-estate investor who practices feng shui — the Chinese belief of improving fortunes by timing and the layout of objects — as a hobby.
Chinachem Charitable's legal counsel said they were unable to agree on Chan's application Monday, but were unlikely to oppose it, government-run RTHK radio reported.
"We are very pleased with today because it would seem that all parties are supportive of our position, namely it is a good idea at this stage that an administrator be appointed to look after the asset, to look after the estate," Midgley told reporters outside the court.
Chinachem Charitable reportedly asked for time to serve evidence in response to the application. The hearing was adjourned to Dec 10.