A case of two brothers and an inheritance landed up in the Western Cape High Court where one brother, disinherited by his father, asked that the will be declared not executable so that he could inherit from the estate in terms of the rules of intestate succession.

The first respondent is the brother who stands to inherit under the will.

He brought a counter application to have the will accepted by the Master of the High Court even though it does not comply with all the formalities as prescribed in law, reports the Pretoria News.

Prior to May 2020, the deceased had a joint will he and his late wife had executed in 1996. 

Under the old joint will, their sons – the applicant and the first respondent – were both beneficiaries in equal proportions.

The deceased’s wife died in 2004 and 16 years later, in May 2020, he executed a new will.

In terms of the new will, he provided that the first respondent would be the sole beneficiary and would be appointed as executor of the estate.

The will was discovered after his death.

By the time he executed the new will, the deceased had a very strained relationship with the applicant.

The relationship was so damaged that when the deceased tried to contact the applicant to wish him well on his 40th birthday, the applicant did not take his call and sent him a message telling him to ‘piss off’, the court was told.

The applicant then messaged his brother – the first respondent – saying: ‘Just let me know when he’s dead. I’m done with him.’

This deterioration in the relationship between the deceased and the applicant is not denied by the applicant. In fact, after the deceased’s death, the applicant posted messages on Facebook referring to his father as a ‘bitter, manipulative, vindictive, angry person’, Acting Judge K Hofmeyr said, according to the Pretoria News.

While the applicant and the deceased’s relationship was deteriorating, the first respondent and his family played a significant role in caring for the deceased.

The judge concluded that the new will was sound and that the respondent son and his family cared for the deceased during his dark days of cancer.

Hofmeyr said there is no evidence that he influenced his father to disinherit his brother.

Full Pretoria News report