How Will Samsung Chairman's Vast Fortune Be Divided?

  • By Kim Kang-han

    October 29, 2020 11:24

    After Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee was laid to rest on Wednesday, the focus shifted on the question whether he left a will or whether his vast fortune will be divided proportionally among his heirs.

    Since Lee suddenly fell into a coma after a heart attack six years ago, it is possible that he did not leave a will.

    But Lee had been treated for cancer before the heart attack, so some believe he did make a will to eliminate any risk of a dispute over control of the conglomerate among his children.

    Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong helps his mother and sister off a bus to attend his father's funeral at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    "Considering Lee's meticulous character and how he always prepared for business by looking 10 years down the road, we can't rule out the existence of a will," an industry insider said.

    If there is no will, his fortune will be distributed according to the legally mandated inheritance ratio, with his widow Hong Ra-hee, receiving 33.33 percent and his children, Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong and daughters Lee Boo-jin and Lee Seo-hyun each getting 22.22 percent.

    Either way Hong could opt to give the bulk of her shares to her son in order to bolster his hold on the publicly traded conglomerate. Instead, she and her two daughters could content themselves with the chairman's real estate, art collection and other assets.

    Samsung has denied knowledge of a will.

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