The recent Bwanya case

The right of a surviving life partner in a permanent opposite-sex life partnership to inherit or claim maintenance. The recent Constitutional Court judgement of Bwanya v The Master and others (CCT 241-20) has substantially changed the law as it applies to the definition of “spouse” in the Intestate Succession Act, applying to a surviving life… Continue Reading

Inheritance and Wills

Source: A simple guide to South African Family Law by Nthabiseng Monareng Introduction One of the most important things that a person needs to think about is death and how their assets will be distributed after their death. When a person dies, their assets will be distributed either in terms of their will (testate succession)… Continue Reading

What is a usufruct?

The English word usufruct derives from the Latin roots usus and fructus, from verbs meaning to possess and to have the benefit of, respectively. A usufruct is a right given by an owner to someone else to use the owner’s property for a limited time, usually for a person’s lifetime. The holder of a usufruct,… Continue Reading

Unsigned wills

Is a copy of a will valid? Because of Covid, my late father never signed his latest will. Will I have to wind up his estate based on his earlier signed will or can I rely on the later unsigned one? A will is a document in which a person sets out how his or… Continue Reading

Amending my will

A client has recently had a baby and asked me how she goes about changing her will. A will ensures that the person that winds up your estate distributes your assets to named beneficiaries after you pass, according to your wishes. If there are changed circumstances such as the birth of a child or the… Continue Reading

Leaving this Mortal Coil

Leaving this mortal coil – taking care of your digital and physical assets I have posted a Wishes and Memories booklet on our website that will be a clear record of your funeral wishes, a source of important documents for legal and public records, and a permanent keepsake of your fondest memories to speak to… Continue Reading

Master of the High Court: Intestate Succession

IF YOU DO NOT LEAVE A WILL http://www.justice.gov.za/master/m_deseased/deceased_intestate.html See the Intestate Succession Act. Any person of 16 years and over is free to make a will in order to determine how his/her estate should devolve upon his/her death. If you die without a will, your estate will devolve in terms of the rules of intestate… Continue Reading

Freedom Of Testation

Can I choose who to benefit in my will? In South Africa, a person can leave his or her assets to whoever he likes, with few limitations. This is called “freedom of testation“. If a person dies with a valid will, he or she dies “testate”, and without a valid will, he or she  dies… Continue Reading

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