An unsigned will by legendary Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen has been rejected by the Master of the High Court and will cause more legal drama about his estate. Joost passed away in February after his battle with Motor Neuron Disease and his estate is yet to be registered.
Van der Westhuizen family lawyer Ferdi Hartzenberg will launch an urgent application this week to have the will declared valid, despite it not being signed by van Joost. Hartzenberg claims that as a commissioner of oaths he had signed the will on behalf of van Joost when he had become too weak from his disease to sign the document.
Estate Law states in cases where someone is unable to physically sign their will, they have to make a mark such as an x, use a fingerprint or ask someone else to sign on their behalf. In all the scenarios a commissioner of oaths must be present and indicate on the document he has identified the owner of the will. In addition, the person who’s will is being certified may not use his lawyer as a signatory and the lawyer may not be the commissioner of oaths.
If the will is declared invalid an older valid last will and testament will be used or the person dies intestate. In the latter case, Joost's wife and children inherit his entire estate. His brother Pieter has claimed that in the unsigned will Joost explicitly stated that his wife would get nothing.
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