Baragwanath Hospital Wills Workshop – 02 October 2015

Baragwanath Hospital Wills Workshop – 02 October 2015

This workshop explained what a will is and the requirements for executing a valid will. It also touched on other areas of law that are interwoven with the topic. For instance:

Bara-1The implications of dying without a will if –

  • One is in an unregistered customary marriage;
  • One is in a cohabitation relationship;
  • One is n a universal partnership;
  • One has children out of wedlock; and
  • One has raised children as their own without legally adopting them.

The workshop also discussed disputes that often arise between family members in appointing an executor when the deceased has died intestate and the negative effect of this on the winding up of the estate.

Learn how to handle a deceased estate

Learn how to handle a deceased estate

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On Friday, July 4, ProBono.Org will host a deceased estates information session at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court.

Any community members with concerns regarding the financial affairs of a deceased person or their heirs are encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the session is to provide concerned parties with access to quality legal advice; including information on basic laws and rights linked to issues surrounding deceased estates.

This workshop is just one of many ProBono.Org services which aim to link the poorest of the poor to legal services through a network of volunteer lawyers.

The organisation hopes that, through these sessions, it will be able to ease the emotional difficulty of losing a loved one by ensuring that their estate dissolution is concluded as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The session will take place from 11am to 1pm on the fourth floor at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court.

Any community members with concerns regarding deceased estates can call 010 232-2002 or 086 507 2018 to book a session.

Refreshments will also be provided.



The Ward 79 Councillor in Phiri Soweto identified a need for an information session for the community regarding the reporting of deceased estates and evictions. We partnered with the University of Johannesburg Law Clinic, Sheriff’s Board and the Master’s office Johannesburg.

The main objective of this workshop was to educate the members of the Phiri community about the processes around the administration of deceased estates and eviction and also to identify members of the community who have been victims of the illegal sale of their properties.

After the Ward Councillor had welcomed the participants, the first speaker, Mr Mpande from the Master’s office, explained the processes of reporting deceased estates where immovable property is involved and the difference between an intestate and testate estate. He explained the problems encountered as a result of people submitting false information and the effects this has on the process of administration. Mr Mpande impressed the importance of understanding estate planning, especially when there is immovable property involved.

Housing workshop Soweto 10 June 2015 (1)

The next speaker was Mr Elton Hart, an attorney at the UJ Law clinic, Soweto Campus. He explained the processes of eviction, how the orders are obtained and the general problem in the community of people not acting when they have been served with court papers. He explained that in some instances people only become aware that the order has been granted when they receive notification from the Sheriff’s office. It is absolutely vital that they seek advice on any document that they receive that comes from the court or an attorney’s office.

The next speaker was Mr Tayoob from the Sheriff’s Board , accompanied by the Sheriff Soweto West and the Regional Director Sheriff’s service, Department of Justice. He stated that in many cases where the sheriff is coming to evict, they get resistance from the community and the community leaders, more specifically from an organisation called SANCO. He explained that in many instances people are arrested for obstructing the sheriff in conducting his duties after having been given wrong advice by the said leaders. He stressed that community leaders should not mislead the public and they should always ensure that they refer community members to the relevant offices where they will receive appropriate guidance on how to proceed with their matters.

Ms Emily Dhlamini, the Regional Director: Sheriff’s Services, Department of Justice then addressed the community on the discourse that exists between the community and the Sheriff’s office. She undertook to ensure that community structures are given training to enable them to better service the community and to work in conjunction with the legal structures and not prevent or obstruct lawful actions from taking place. Arrangements for this will be taken up with the Ward councillor.

After the session, members of the public had the opportunity to make direct contact with the speakers and intake sheets were completed for members of the public that believed that they had cases.



Victor Ndlazilwana Hall

    The event was held in partnership with the ward counsellor of Ward 73 Daveyton who had identified a need in the community for an information sharing session regarding the reporting of deceased estates and evictions. We were joined by Samantha Kelly from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.
    Ms Kelly began the proceedings with a presentation on the difference between a testate and intestate estate. She explained the difference between the estates in terms of reporting and administrating. She highlighted the importance of estate planning especially where there is an immovable property and multiple beneficiariesQuestions from the audience:If a person has children from a previous marriage/relationship, are they entitled to benefit from your estate should you die?
    How much does it cost to make a will?
    How does it happen that one sibling can sell the immovable property of the deceased parent’s estate without involving the other siblings?
    Other questions relating to transfer of property

    When Ms Kelly had answered the questions and closed her presentation she advised community leaders to arrange an estate planning workshop, especially because the beneficiary process for properties has already started and estate planning is an important aspect of owning property

    Tshenolo Masha then presented on the topic of evictions. She explained the legal process and stressed the importance of seeking assistance when served with legal documents. Even if one is not sure of the legitimacy of the said documents it is still important to follow up to prevent being suddenly evicted and finding oneself homeless.

Daveyton housing workshop 23 April 2015 (3)

Questions from the audience:

How does the court deal with evictions that are instituted using documents that were fraudulently obtained?
Can a family member evict another family member from the family home?

The audience questions were answered and the importance of seeking legal assistance when faced with evictions was reiterated to the audience especially in instances when documents were obtained fraudulently.

The programme was then closed by the ward counsellor who thanked the members of the community in attendance and noted that most of the queries raised today were in relation to estate planning.  Perhaps a follow-up workshop will be arranged specifically on the topic of wills and drafting of wills.

Compiled by: Tshenolo Masha