Law of Succession (Amendment) Act

The Law of Succession Act has been amended by introducing new a definition and revising pre-existing definitions through the Law of Succession (Amendment) Act.

Initial StatusAmendments IntroducedComments
No definition of “spouse”Law of Succession (Amendment) Act:
Definition of spouse:   “spouse’ means a husband or a wife or wives recognised under the Marriage Act.  
The Law of Succession (Amendment) Act initiates by defining a spouse as a husband or wife/wives as per the Marriage Act, which provides for five (5) types of marriages.  
Repealed s 29:   29 Meaning of dependant   For the purposes of this Part, “dependant” means – the wife or wives, or former wife or wives, and the children of the deceased whether or not maintained by the deceased immediately prior to his death;   such of the deceased’s parents, step-parents, grand-parents, grandchildren, step-children, children whom the deceased had taken into his family as his own, brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters, as were being maintained by the deceased immediately prior to his death; and   where the deceased was a woman, her husband if he was being maintained by her immediately prior to the date of her death.  Law of Succession (Amendment) Act:
New s 29:   29. (1) For purposes of this Part-   “dependant” means –   the spouse and children of the deceased whether or not maintained by the deceased immediately prior to his death; and   such of the deceased’s parents, step parents, grandparents, grandchildren, step-children, children whom the deceased had taken into his family as his own, brothers and sisters and half-brothers, half-sisters, as were being maintained by the deceased immediately prior to his death.  
The Law of Succession (Amendment) Act changes “wife or wives, or former wife or wives” to “spouse” as per the Marriage Act. A spouse as per the Marriage Act refers to one holding an “active” marriage certificate.   The amendment acknowledges the child to the spouse regardless of the marital status (lack of marriage or a dissolved marriage).   Other dependants acknowledged are the deceased’s: parents, step parents, grandparents, grandchildren, step children, children accommodated by the deceased as his/her own, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters – if anyone claims to be a dependant, s/he must establish that s/he was being maintained by the deceased immediately before his/her death.    
   

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