Answer to a question from a reader

My late ex-husband remarried and had children. Who will inherit our RDP house?

The short answer

Since you were married in community of property, you inherited the house when your ex-husband passed away. You can do what you want with it.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I am currently staying in an RDP house that my late ex-husband and I own (both our names are on the title deed). We were married in community of property and did not have any children. My ex remarried and had children. Who will inherit the house if anything happens to me? Is it possible for me to draw up a will or get a letter of authority for my house?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking if it is possible for you to draw up a will saying who should inherit the RDP house you jointly owned with your late ex-husband, given that you had no children with your ex-husband and he did have children from his subsequent marriage.

As you were married in community of property, and both of you were stated as the owners on the title deeds of the house, you have inherited the house, and therefore it is yours to dispose of. 

Any mentally competent person from 16 years onwards has the authority to draw up a will to state who will inherit their property. To be a legal document, a will must be in writing and must be signed by you on each page and by two witnesses.

A letter of authority is the written permission given by the court to a person to see to it that the estate of the person who has died is wound up; for example, that the debts are paid and that decisions are taken by the heirs about selling the property. You can state in your will who that person should be. 

Perhaps you could ask a lawyer to help you draw up a will.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Jan. 15, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

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