It is IMPORTANT to take note that your ante nuptial agreement MUST BE SIGNED BEFORE your wedding!
In the meanwhile we have prepared an introductory article to give you a brief insight on some of the options available to you.
The marriage system is often the last thing on a bride’s mind when planning a wedding. The fact is if an ante nuptial agreement is to be concluded between couples, it must be signed before a notary before the marriage is concluded. The agreement must furthermore be registered with the registrar of deeds within 3 months after the couple has been married. There are different options available when couples decide on the type of marriage system that will govern their marriage:
Marriage within community of property: A marriage will be in community of property if parties get married without first concluding an ante nuptial agreement. The estates of the parties will be joined which will include their once separate assets and liabilities. This option is not advised as claims against one estate may be claimed from the other spouse’s estate and parties will be jointly and severally liable for liabilities incurred by the other spouse even without his or her consent. Should one spouse pass away, the living spouse will be dependent on the executor until the finalisation of the parties’ joint estate. If a marriage should dissolve for whatever reason the estates will be divided between the parties in equal shares. Certain actions may not be taken without the prior written consent of the other spouse.
Marriage out of community of property with the exclusion of the accrual system: The estates of the spouses remain the property of each spouse. The spouses are only liable towards their own debtors and do not incur liability on behalf of the other spouse. Should one of the spouses pass away the living spouse can carry on as per usual as the two estates does not join at any stage and the living spouse does not become dependent on the executor to finalise the estate. A spouse does not become entitled to the estate of the other spouse at dissolution of the marriage.
Marriage out of community of property with the inclusion of the accrual system: The estates of the spouses remain the property of each spouse. The spouses are only liable towards their own claimants and do not incur liability on behalf of the other spouse. At the dissolution of the marriage relationship, for whatever reason, the spouses become entitled to 50 percent of the growth of the other spouse’s estate. Should one of the spouses pass away, the living spouse can carry on as per usual as the two estates does not join at any stage and the living spouse does not become dependent on the executor to finalise the estate. The parties may decide to exclude property that they bring into the marriage from the accrual system.
See a practical example of the accrual system below in Figure 1:
Do you want to change the marriage system after the marriage has been concluded? Contact us for a quotation (our contact details will appear on our contact us page).
Barnard Incorporated is a firm of attorneys situated in Centurion, Pretoria.
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