Talking Point February 2021

A succinct discussion of selected topical, legal matters

Dear Friends and Colleagues

We continue to wish you and your family health and strength in these difficult Covid-19 times.

I take great pleasure in submitting the first 2021 edition of Talking Point to you. 

It is not uncommon for a testator to benefit his or her children unequally, or for a testator to bequeath an entire estate to his or her spouse. 

This is a special addition in which we discuss only one Court decision – King N.O. and Others v De Jager and Others, a decision of the Constitutional Court on 19 February 2021.  This decision has not received much publicity, but it may well have a substantial impact on the enforceability of relevant provisions in many a will (or testament – we use the terms interchangeably in this edition) and the administration of deceased estates.

Your current testament may well not be your last will and testament, at least, not after you read the following articles:

The background

We provide relevant information regarding the equality clause of the Constitution and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.  Definitions in this article are also used in the other articles.

The judgment

We provide the facts and brief summaries of the judgments.

The consequences as described by the majority

The Court gave limited attention to consequences of the decision, but there may well be significant consequences.  

The practical consequences

In this article, we mainly illustrate the questions, rather than provide the answers.  We are ready to deal with the answers, and each testament will have to be assessed in its specific context.

This edition is a joint effort by Jerome Veldsman, Natasha Louw, and me.

As always, I would greatly appreciate your feedback on Talking Point. Please email me at gunnard@walkers.law.

Regards

Gunnar Dahl

Chairman