Dying without a Will

HOW DID THE BHE DECISION CHANGE THE WAY ESTATES WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AND ADMINISTERED?

All deceased estates will be distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. This means that the beneficiaries in order of preference are:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The descendants of the deceased
  • The parents of the deceased (Only if the deceased died without surviving spouse or descendants)
  • The siblings of the deceased (Only if one or both parents are predeceased)The Intestate Succession Act should be read in such a way that it can accommodate cases where the deceased was a husband in polygamous customary union:
  • When the deceased left only spouses and no descendants, the wives will inherit the estate in equal shares.
  • When the deceased left spouses and descendants, the spouses and descendants will inherit the estate in equal shares, but
  • Each wife should inherit at least R 250 000
  • When the estate is not large enough to allow each wife to inherit
  • R250 000, the spouses will inherit the estate in equal shares while the descendants will not receive anything.
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