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Newsletter 5

Newsletter 5

Dear Colleague
Time!  What a precious commodity to treasure and use wisely!
Commission on “buite boedels
You are aware that commissions are payable on testamentary estates where Legatus Trust is the nominated Executor where you are the source of the latest Will.
There is another source of commission which can be earned on “buite boedels”.
The term “buite boedel” is a word widely used and well known in our industry.  Just to recap:  It is an estate where there is no Will (intestate) or where a natural person such as a spouse, family member or friend was nominated as Executor.  If there ís a Will with a nominated Executor, i.e. another trust company, an attorney or an institution like a bank, etc. and the appointment is renounced, it can also become a “buite boedel”. 
Should you come across these kinds of estates in your daily dealings, please refer them to Legatus.
The commission structure for both testamentary and “buite boedel” estates are the same. Contact your marketer at Legatus for further details.
Anyone can refer a “buite boedel” to Legatus Trust.  It is an open playing field and an opportunity for brokers registered with Legatus to earn some extra income.
Keep in mind:  The benefits of nominating a trust company like Legatus Trust as Executor is that the Executor is not a natural person and as such will not demise or leave the country and furthermore, the Executor has the knowhow and experience to administer a deceased estate.
Read more on this subject in the next edition.


A correctly signed Will is a valid Will.  Incorrect signing thereof causes hardship to loved ones left behind who are already in a state of mourning.


The result of an incorrectly signed Will is also devastating to heirs as it may lead to the rejection or partial rejection of a Will.

A duly signed Will must comply with the following requirements in terms of Section 2 of the Wills Act no 7 of 1953, as amended:
  • It must be signed by the testator(s) before two competent, impartial witnesses, who must all be present at the same time and who must sign in each other’s presence.
  1. A competent witness is a person, 14 years or older who, at the time of witnessing the Will, is competent to give evidence in a court of law.
  2. If a nominated beneficiary or his/her spouse signs as a witness, such beneficiary will be disqualified from inheriting more than the portion that person would have been entitled to inherit, if the testator died without leaving a valid Will. This means that if a person is not entitled to inherit in terms of the Intestate Succession Act, such a person shall be disqualified from receiving any benefit.
  • The nominated Executor, Trustee and Guardian, including such person’s spouse, also cannot sign as a witness as this would disqualify him/her from receiving the benefit or holding the nominated position.
  • If the Will consists of more than one page, it must be signed by the testator(s) on all pages. However, the last page must contain the signatures of the testator(s) as well as the signatures of both witnesses - all on one page.  Also complete the place and date of signature.
  • In certain circumstances the Will must be co-signed and certified by a Commissioner of Oaths e.g. where a person signs with a mark.  In these cases the Commissioner of Oaths cannot sign as a witness as well.  He/she cannot hold both positions at the same time.  Two competent, impartial witnesses still have to sign the Will.  Where a Commissioner of Oaths sign as such, there are special conditions to be adhered to.
The testator(s) and two competent witnesses must sign next to any alteration to a Will. In case of an existing signed Will, the witnesses need not be the same witnesses who signed the Will initially.
Failing a valid Will, the estate will be administered in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, as amended, the effect of which includes the following:
  • The next-of-kin will have to nominate an Executor, who will not be exempt from furnishing security unless the nominated Executor is a spouse, parent or major child.
  • If married, in or out of community of property, and there are children, whether in or out of wedlock, including children from previous marriages, as well as legally adopted children, and the net value of the estate exceeds R250 000.00, the estate will be divided between the spouse and all the children, which may cause hardship.
  • The inheritance of a minor heir will be paid into the Guardian’s Fund until such child attains the age of 18 years.
  • The heirs’ inheritances will not be protected from the consequences of existing and future marriages.
Make sure that there is a duly signed Will covering loved ones. A Will may be one of the most important documents that are signed in one’s lifetime.

The longest Will in the world was one drawn up for Frederica Evelyn Stillwell Cook, an English woman.  When it was proved at London’s Somerset House in 1925, it consisted of four gilt-edged, leather-bound volumes totalling 1,066 pages and 95,940 words.  The Will was dated 17 October 1919 with an added codicil dated 2 March 1924. It consisted mostly of detailed bequests of her personal effects and artwork.  She also left detailed instructions to her Executors such as burning of her diaries, burying her wedding ring with her and not inscribing her age on her tombstone.  At least there was no confusion as to her wants and wishes!!
The shortest valid British Will – which was contested but eventually passed after the 1906 court case of Thorne v. Dickens – consisted of three words:  “All for mother”.  What caused the confusion was that the testator didn’t mean his mother but his wife.  Just another case of choosing one’s words wisely!!
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times Team

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