Van Zyl Retief

Can you inherit from someone you have merely been living with?

In South Africa, the number of couples who are permanently living together in life partnerships is increasing every year. What are the consequences that would ensue if either of the partners in the relationship dies without a will? Should a surviving partner in such a scenario have a claim for inheritance or maintenance from the […]

Can a testator disinherit their surviving spouse?

The Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act 27 of 1990 permits surviving spouses to seek maintenance from the deceased spouse’s estate upon the marriage ending due to death. This claim lasts until the survivor’s death or remarriage and factors in estate value, the survivor’s financial circumstances, marriage duration, living standards, and age. It is widely recognised […]

The intent to revoke a last will and testament

The Western Cape High Court recently examined whether a person had the intent to revoke their existing will. The deceased, hospitalised with COVID-19, expressed a desire to revoke their will and draft a new one. However, the court found that the necessary intent to revoke was absent, emphasising the importance of complying with the Wills […]

Properly executing a will is extremely important.

I gave instructions to my attorney to prepare a last will and testament for me as my will no longer reflected my wishes. At my request, my attorney emailed the will to me with clear instructions as to how I should go about signing it. I asked my neighbours to act and sign as witnesses. […]

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