Legal Articles and Guides
Estate Planning & Trusts
Estate Planning and Trusts
The SCA has ruled against an insurer in a dispute over a payment made to a deceased beneficiary. The Cape Times reports that the FundsAtWork Umbrella Pension Fund had allocated 42% of member Massimiliano Guarnieri's death benefits to his mother without first checking if she was alive.
Fraud charges against Adline Pillay (62) – accused of forging the will of her late neighbour in a bid to defraud her R78m estate – have been provisionally withdrawn.
Author Pieter-Louis Myburgh has condemned the V&A Waterfront for failing to 'defend free speech' when it cancelled the launch of his book Gangster State, about ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, over safety concerns. V&A spokesperson Donald Kau said the decision to cancel the launch had been made in consultation with the police.
What happens when a trust’s trustees fall out and go to war with each other? If a polite request to the minority trustee to resign bears no fruit, can the majority forcibly remove him or her? And if so, must they have good reason to do so?
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.