Legal Articles and Guides
Estate Planning & Trusts
Estate Planning and Trusts
A family feud has erupted over the alleged last will of ANC veteran Khabisi Mosunkutu in which he stated that he wanted to be buried in the Free State, notes a report in The Star. His relatives are expected to file court papers today against the politician’s wife, Nonqaba, to challenge his burial at the Westpark cemetery last Thursday, saying it was against his dying wishes.
Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen's widow Amor Vittone will only inherit a television set from his estate, according to a report on the IoL site. This was after the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday ruled that the will Joost had drawn up on 2 September 2015, but failed to sign himself, was his last and true testament.
The SCA ruled last week, in a 4-1 decision, that the trust created by a donor for the benefit of his children and their descendants did not include two stepchildren adopted by one of his daughters, notes TimesLIVE. In this case, Louis John Druiff executed a Notarial Deed of Trust as well as a will 'for the benefit of his children and their descendants'.
SA-born handbag designer Lana Marks, the globe-trotting businesswoman who is tipped to be the next US ambassador to SA, is caught up in a family feud playing out in the Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown). A Sunday Times report notes Marks is embroiled in a spat with her two siblings over control of their parents’ assets worth millions. She has been accused by her brother Malcolm Bank and sister Anne Pogroske of transferring their parents’ apartment in Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach, Florida, into her name without her siblings’ knowledge.
The inevitability of death doesn’t detract from the shock and distress that it brings to the grieving survivors, and much as we don’t like to plan for these things it will help at least a little to know what to do in practice after a death.
It’s natural for one not to want to make plans for one own’s mortality, but we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to do exactly that, and to do it without delay. Why? The Yale Book of Quotations quotes “‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,” from Christopher Bullock’s book, The Cobler of Preston (1716).
Nelson Mandela's family are embroiled in a fresh legal battle over his estate, says a Sunday Times report. Zenani and Zindzi Mandela are heading to the Constitutional Court to challenge their father's decision to leave the family home in Qunu under the custodianship of the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Family Trust.
The Free State High Court has removed the brothers of the late Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen as trustees of the J9 Trust set up for the benefit of his children, notes a Volksblad report. Joost’s estranged wife, Amor Vittone, brought an application for the removal of Pieter and Gustav van der Westhuizen, as well as Gavin Varejes, as trustees.
In a victory for Muslim women married in polygamous marriages‚ the Constitutional Court has confirmed that a section in the Wills Act is unconstitutional, notes a TimesLIVE report. The section failed to recognise the right of a surviving spouse in a polygamous Muslim marriage to the benefits of her deceased husband’s will. The Constitutional Court confirmed the order made by the Western Cape High Court last year‚ which declared section 2C(1) of the Wills Act invalid.
It is technically legal for one person to earn millions to manage a pension fund, and there is no obligation to use that money to benefit the pensioners who invested in that fund – as long as a court sanctions such a deal. A Saturday Star report says this was the SCA’s conclusion when ruling on a case accusing attorney Anthony Mostert of charging exorbitant fees for one of the 10 pension funds under his curatorship.
Dirk Stoffberg is to inherit his stepfather’s Gonubie home – despite the fact that his wife first drafted three apparently fraudulent wills in which he was the main beneficiary. A Daily Dispatch report says Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) Judge Jeremy Pickering ruled Stoffberg should inherit the home of his stepfather, Stuart Bruce Doveton Helps, after his wife Lesley drew up a will in which Stoffberg was named as the beneficiary.
Failure to follow customs to the letter when marrying his partner has cost a Soweto man the right to bury her. The Mercury reports Leonard Khosa was interdicted by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) yesterday from burying Ayanda Zulu, for whom he completed paying lobolo in 2014.
A fund manager and professor in applied mathematics who was adopted 51 years ago as a baby has approached the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to set aside his adoption in order to claim a share of his wealthy biological father's estate, notes Rapport.
Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen’s widow Amor Vittone is of the opinion that despite his motor neuron disease in 2015, he was still able to sign a document or at least make a mark on it. A Pretoria News report says Vittone or is vigorously opposing an application by Joost’s brother Pieter van der Westhuizen and lawyer Ferdinand Hartzenberg, who turned to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to have the will declared his last wish.
An unexpected passing can be shocking and traumatising. Grieving the loss of a precious loved one is not only filled with sorrow, but adds emotional challenges when one has to deal with the finalising of their estate. This is enough to cause anguish due to the complexity that it seems from the outset. The bravest thing one can ever do is to continue to attend to the last wishes of those who have passed on to another life beyond our own.