Getting a divorce does not automatically change your will. You have to rewrite your will after divorce so it could reflect your true wishes and intention. Luckily, our South African Law gives you a 3-months grace period that allows you to amend your will.

Have you heard these words from your divorce attorney before:  "Make sure you amend your will within three months from date of your divorce!"?  

What happens if you did not amend your will and you pass away?

Our legislation addresses this situation already. Section 2B of the Wills Act No.7 of 1953 states that if a testator dies within 3 months of becoming divorced, it means that the deceased’s will executed before the divorce will be read as if his spouse has already passed. This will automatically be implemented unless it is clear from the will that the testator, or the testator indicated in the will, has the intention to benefit their ex-spouse despite their divorce.

The meaning to section 2B is very clear and unambiguous. To put simply, it says, the death of a spouse who dies within 3 months of the date of divorce will result in the surviving spouse being deemed to be predeceased and thus unable to inherit. This was confirmed in the judgment of Louw NO v Kock and another 2017 (3) SA 62 (WCC).

Therefore, should a spouse not amend their will within 3 months after the dissolution of the marriage and they die before amending the will, the court will accept that as an indication that the deceased indeed had the intention to benefit the ex-spouse.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of getting a divorce, in the process of getting a divorce or recently got divorced, ensure to amend your wills so they reflect, as mentioned above, your true wishes and intentions.

Contact us to assist you with the drafting of your will.  You can send an e-mail to [email protected] for more information or via WhatsApp at +27(0)838759080.