Wills and witnesses

09 April 2021


We all know that a witness to a will cannot receive a benefit under a will (s. 82 SA 65). Such a situation does not invalidate a will. The will remains a binding will which can be admitted to probate. The gift is void and falls into the residue.

This note is a quick reminder that s. 82 is a somewhat broader than simply beneficiaries. It also includes the spouse or civil partner of the beneficiary. So, say for example, you have a testator with three sons, and the testator leaves a gift to each of the sons. A gift to one of the sons will be invalid if the spouse or civil partner of one of the sons witnesses the will.