Business/commercial law essay question and answers

Paul wrote a will and bequeathed all his property to his wife Nina. Two years later, Paul was diagnosed as suffering from a terminal disease. He blamed it on his wife Nina and then called his friends Mark and Matthew and verbally told them in case he died before Nina, she should not inherit his property, instead all his property should be inherited his mother Tina. Paul died three weeks ago and Nina has sought to inherit his property under the will, but Paul’s mother has vehemently resisted Nina’s claim.

Discuss the legal position of Nina and Tina.
ANSWER

• This problem is based the validity of wills and their revocation. It is clear that Paul made a written will bequeathing all his property to Nina and though he blames Nina for his illness he did not revoke the will. It therefore follows that Nina is entitled to inherit all his property under the will.

• The oral will purportedly made Paul before Mark and Mathew has no effect as it purports to revoke the earlier will which was written. This is because under the provision of the Law of Succession Act, an oral will cannot revoke a written will. Tina cannot therefore purport to inherit Paul’s property under the purported oral will. Her resistance is of no consequence as she has no claim under the sons will. However, if

• Tina was Paul’s dependant, she can challenge the disposition of Paul’s property under the will in exercise of the right conferred the provisions of the Law of Succession Act.



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