In a recent blog post, Van der Spuy & Partners, a local law firm, advises readers to make sure that they have their will carefully reviewed by an attorney when they are divorced to ensure that they make the necessary amendments to address their changed circumstances.
In the case discussed the question raised by a client was the following:
“My husband has just passed away. We were married in community of property. It has however now transpired that his will still determines that his ex-wife is the sole heir of his estate. Where does this leave me, and does she have a right to his whole estate?”
In response, Van der Spuy & Partners noted that a number of legal considerations should be considered.
Section 2B of the Wills Act, 7 of 1953, determines that if an individual dies within three months of becoming divorced and that person had a will predating the date of the divorce, the will would be implemented as if the previous spouse had died before the date of divorce, unless it is clear from the will that the testator intended to benefit its ex-spouse despite the divorce. It essentially provides a grace period for a testator to amend his or her will after divorce. If however, the testator does not amend their will in this period, the will shall be applied according to its provisions.
Quite a mouthful – click here to read the blogpost that sets out all the scenarios.