Child maintenance from ex-husband's estate

2009-03-06 00:00

Question. My daughter is divorced with two young children, aged 12 and 14. Their father has died, and in his will he has left everything he has to his new wife without making any provision for his children. Is there anything my daughter can do about this?

Answer. Your daughter, in her capacity as guardian of her ex-husband’s children is entitled to lodge a claim for maintenance against the estate.

I anticipate that when your daughter and her ex-husband got divorced, an order was made in respect of the amount of maintenance he was required to pay to her for the children.

It is also usual in divorce matters for the parties to have signed a settlement agreement which usually deals with maintenance, amongst other issues.

It would be prudent to have regard to the settlement agreement to determine if there are any provisions in the agreement which may not form part of the maintenance order, for example, provisions for annual escalation of the maintenance, or provision for the ex-husband to take life cover for the benefit of the children.

The maintenance order together with any additional provisions which may have been made in the settlement agreement would form the basis for a claim for maintenance on behalf of the children against your daughter’s ex-husband’s estate.

A claim for maintenance ranks concurrent with the other unsecured creditors’ claims against the estate (secured creditors are, for example, a bank in respect of a bond over immovable property or the South African Revenue Services in respect of the deceased’s tax liability). The maintenance claim must be satisfied before any legacies or inheritances are paid.

If you have a question regarding wills, power of attorney, estate planning, trusts, the adminis-tration of deceased estates, etc, please direct your questions to Margaret McCullough, J Leslie Smith & Company, and she will answer your questions on the next senior’s column.

E-mail helenp@jleslie.co.za or send your questions to Margaret McCullough, PO Box 297, Pietermaritzburg, 3201.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.