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Estate: Instruction on a will not enough, court rules

A written instruction to draft a will cannot be elevated to the status of a will, the Western Cape High Court has ruled. Rapport reports that family members of the late Elaine Hendricks approached the court to declare that her written and signed instruction to Nedbank to draft a will should be viewed as such. Hendricks instructed the bank a day before her death to make her minor son the beneficiary of her assets. The 44-year-old woman died from cancer before the will was drafted and signed. Judge Ashley Binns-Ward said in his judgment the family wanted the court to take a ‘liberal approach’ to the instruction document, but he was not convinced it was justified. Hendrick’s husband, Wesley, opposed the application. He will likely inherit his late wife’s share of their joint estate as Elaine died intestate.

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