Law of Succession

Topics: Inheritance, Intestacy, Will Pages: 26 (7471 words) Published: February 24, 2013


1.Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and substantiate your answer.

(a)A child's share is calculated by dividing the value of the intestate estate by the number of children of the deceased plus one.(3)

False, a child's share is calculated by dividing the value of the intestate estate by the number of children of the deceased who have either survived him or have predeceased him but are survived by their descendants, plus one.

(b)In terms of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 the testator must sign all the pages of the will at the end of each page.(3)

False, If the will consists of more than one page, the testator must sign at the end of the wording on the last page, and he must further sign or acknowledge his signature on every preceding page.

(c)In terms of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 the same witnesses must sign all the pages of the will.(2)

False, the same witnesses must sign and attest the will in the presence of one another and the testator. The Act only provides that the witnesses must sign the will. This provision is interpreted to mean that the witnesses must sign the last page of the will and not every page of the will.

(d)A general unworthiness to inherit testate or intestate attaches to a murderer, and therefore a murderer may never inherit from anybody.

False, it is not a general unworthiness which attaches to a murderer, however, but only an unworthiness to inherit from his or her victim and from certain persons very closely related to the victim.

(e)Someone who kills another person, may never inherit from that person, because of the maxim de bloedige hand erft niet (the bloody hand does not inherit).(4)

False, only a person who intentionally or negligently caused the death of the deceased or a spouse, married in community of property, who murdered the other spouse are incapable of inheriting from the deceased. If a person was insane when he murdered the testator, he has the capacity to inherit from him as an insane person cannot be held accountable for his wrongdoing.

(f)A testator may not leave a benefit to a beneficiary who has never been married on the condition that the beneficiary does not marry. (3)

True. Such a condition will be contra bonos mores since it encourages the beneficiary to continue in the unmarried state.

(g)Wood v Estate Fawcus provides authority for the statement that a will, which has been revoked by a subsequent will, revives automatically when the subsequent will is revoked.(2)

False, Wood v Estate Fawcus provides authority for the statement that the revocation of a will takes effect from the moment when the revoking will is made, and not at the moment of the testator's death.

2.Define the term "residue of the estate".(5)

Refers to that part of the deceased's estate which remains after the payment of funeral expenses, administration costs, tax, the testator's debts and the legacies.

3.Mention 5 ways in which a legacy can fail.(5)

1. Ademption. If a testator voluntarily alienates the object of a legacy in his lifetime, the legacy lapses. 2. If a legatee dies before the legacy vests in him. 3. If the legatee repudiates the legacy.

4. If the legatee is incapable of inheriting under the will. 5. If the bequeathed thing is annulled or destroyed. 6. If the testator becomes insolvent.

4.John inherited a fortune from his grandfather when he was ten years old. On his fourteenth birthday, he signed a document stating that he wishes to leave his entire fortune to his two brothers, Dan and Fred. This document was attested by two of his fourteen-year old friends. John died in a car accident when he was seventeen and left his parents, Anna and Ben,...
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