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Estate Planning & Trusts

Estate Planning & Trusts

Estate Planning and Trusts

Most recent Estate Planning & Trusts Articles posted

What is the legal status of a (nikah) muslim marriage in South Africa?

The legal status of (Nikah) Muslim marriages in South Africa is amongst the most frequently queried legal issues, which unfortunately still attracts the most divergent responses. Prior to the advent of democracy, (Nikah) Muslim marriages, together with Hindu and other Traditional marriage, were not recognized as having the same legal status as civil marriages in terms of the Marriage Act 25 of 1961. Numerous reasons were finished for non-recognition, and no constructive engagement regarding the issue was entertained. An example of the then status quo, is the 1983 ruling in Ismail vs. Ismail 1983 (1) SA1006 (A).

Application to compel recognition of muslim marriages evokes fierce legal argument

Application to compel recognition of Muslim marriages evokes fierce legal argument. As 2015 drew to a close the Women’s Legal Centre’s application to compel government to recognise Muslim marriages finally saw the light of day. However the organisation encountered yet another stumbling block as their locus standi (the right or capacity to bring an action or appear before court) was contested by Muslim organisations.

A Brief Overview Of Islamic Inheritance From A South African Law Perspective

Succession, colloquially referred to as inheriting, is the process whereby the heirs of a deceased person succeed to the assets which the deceased left behind at the time of death. Assets in this instance refer to the residue after all liabilities and debts of the deceased have been settled.

Mother accused of trying to defraud estate

The mother of two Olympic athletes is facing a 15-year prison sentence after being accused of forging her deceased husband’s will and trying to defraud his estate of millions, says a Saturday Star report. Adelene Toxopeus (58), mother of Olympic marathon runner Irvette van Zyl and mother-in-law of Olympic hurdler LJ van Zyl, has been accused of forging several documents to swindle millions from the estate of her late husband, Pieter.

Trusts: New Directive on Independent Trustees

If you plan to form a trust, you need to know about a new directive from the Chief Master of the High Court to all Master’s Offices in the country. The directive applies to all new trusts (those “registered for the first time”) by the Master.

Will your antenuptial contract protect trust assets on divorce?

A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision (M v M (332/2015) [2016] ZASCA 5) illustrates once again how essential it is, before getting married, to have your lawyer structure your antenuptial contract (ANC) correctly, and with as much detail as is needed for certainty.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Trusts

Trusts have various advantages, but unfortunately, there are also disadvantages. Although this is not a complete synopsis of all the pros and cons, it gives a general overview of what’s involved.

The Process in winding up a Deceased Estate

The estate of a deceased person should be reported to the Master, usually within 14 days from the date of death.

Siblings lose home to stepmother

Six siblings have lost their High Court bid to hang on to their onetime family home and have their stepmother’s sale of the south Durban property set aside. The Mercury reports the siblings – and one of their wives – approached the courts last year, seeking to have the sale deemed unlawful and wrongful. They wanted the property declared part of their parents’ ‘matrimonial property’.

Same-sex partner entitled to inherit

The Constitutional Court has ruled that when a partner in a permanent same-sex partnership dies‚ the surviving one‚ even though they are not legally married‚ inherits the deceased’s intestate estate‚ says a report in The Herald. The case concerned the intestate succession rights of unmarried partners in a permanent same-sex partnership in which the partners had undertaken reciprocal duties of support.

R5m claim highlights legal vacuum

A woman’s maintenance claim of more than R5m against the estate of her male life partner has highlighted the unequal protection afforded in law between heterosexual and same-sex unmarried people, says a Cape Times report. The latter are protected by the Civil Union Act, but heterosexual life partners are left in the cold because Parliament has not yet enacted law in that regard.

Your Will and a practical plan for your loved ones

Whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, single or attached, you should have a Will. Without one, you die “intestate”, which means you forfeit your right to decide who inherits what, who administers and distributes your estate, and who looks after your children and their money. You owe it to your loved ones to spare them the inevitable financial and personal ri

Father’s last will rescinded

A brother and sister went to court after their wealthy father made his caregiver a beneficiary in his will, effectively freezing them out of inheriting for 15 years, says a Cape Times report. The consequence of the decision by the late Jacobus Grimbeek was that his children would have to wait out the stipulated period before they could inherit from him.

Battle over Maduna millions takes new turn

The battle between former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna and his ex-wife escalated this week, with Nompumelelo Maduna claiming he had ‘concocted’ a story to get out of sharing the millions from his empowerment deal with his family, says a Sunday Times report. Nompumelelo filed court papers in response to an urgent application by Penuell in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) last month, in which he claimed she was trying to dupe him out of his R10.8m portion of Sasol dividends.

Next stop SCA after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela appeal dismissed

The Mthatha High Court has dismissed the appeal of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who had laid claim to the Qunu home of former President Nelson Mandela. The court also ordered Madikizela-Mandela to pay the cost of the application, according to a report on The Citizen site. She filed an appeal in April after losing an earlier bid to lay claim to Madiba’s Qunu home in the Eastern Cape. Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyer Mvuzo Notyesi reportedly said they would now petition the SCA.

Beware, Nothing lasts forever (Not even powers of attorney from your aging parents)

If your aging parents have asked you for help with making decisions as to their personal welfare, financial affairs, medical treatment and so on, asking them to sign a power of attorney in your favour may be the answer. Just be aware that it is only a temporary solution.

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