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Succession Law: Study Unit One Cheat Sheet by

The LoS comprises the legal rules that regulate the distri­bution of assets from the estate of a deceased person to the estate of their successor. - **Sources of Law:** Statute, Case; Customary & Common Law - **Estate:** Accumu­lation of deceased assets & liabil­ities - liabil­ities are not transf­erred.

Three Branches of LoS

Testate Succession
When deceased has left a will
Intestate Succession
Applies in absence of a will
Succession by contract
Antenu­ptual contract and Donations only accepted contracts.


Benefi­ciary who receives specific a asset/s.
The particular asset/s a legatee revieves.
Benefi­ciary who receives residue of estate once legacies are distri­buted. = succes­sor­/be­nef­icary
Benefit that goes to heir
Freedom of Testation
Deceased can divide asset however they please. This is limited.
People who died simult­ane­ously.

The Admini­str­ation of a Decease Estates

Regulated by Admini­str­ation of Estates Act 66 of 1965. Two Important Functi­ona­ries:
The Master of the High Court
The executer
Supervises admini­str­ation process
Party who actually admini­sters estate
Has an advisory function to the executer.
Usually nominated in will (executer testam­entary) - If not, executer dative)
Must be issued letter of execut­orship

Functions of the Executor

1. Complete and lodge Estate documents (i.e death notice, will etc.) with the Master
2. Advertised to the deceased creditors to submit claims to the estate & pay claims with cash/e­quity in estate.
3. Prepare the L&D account (made up of above inform­ation). Lies open for 21 days at Masters and district's magistrate office. Finalised if no objection.

Succession and Ownership

Succession is note a mode of acquis­ition of ownership.
Greenburg v Estate Greenburg: Instead, the successor acquires a personal right to claim from the executor at some future date delivery of the legacy.
This future date is once the l&D account is confirmed is the transfer of ownership enforc­able.
Dies Venit: The moment when a successor can claim the transfer of an asset from executor.

Requir­ements for succession

1. The estate owner must have dies/must be legally presumed dead.
2. Successor must be born at the moment of dies cedit OR must have been conceived and born alive.
3. Successor must have survived the deceased.
4. Benefi­ciary must be competent to receive benefit.


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