Testamentary Formalities in South Africa

Marius J De Waal

in Comparative Succession Law

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696802
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732065 | DOI:
Testamentary Formalities in South Africa

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This chapter discusses the issue of testamentary formalities in the context of South Africa's ‘mixed legal system’. It traces the history of will-making in South Africa, explaining how the original Roman and Roman-Dutch will forms were eventually replaced by the witnessed or statutory will (with the relevant South African Wills Act based on the English Wills Act of 1837). The scope of the South African Act is set out and the formalities regarding both the execution and amendment of wills are analysed and explained with reference to many examples from case law. The chapter also discusses the power of South African courts to condone wills that do not comply with the formalities set out in the Act (referred to as a so-called ‘dispensing power’ in certain other legal systems).

Keywords: mixed legal system; testamentary formalities; Roman-Dutch will forms; witnessed will; execution of wills; amendment of wills; power of condonation; dispensing power

Chapter.  12086 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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