Full Details Of Nelson Mandela’s Will Released

Information Published On Former South African President’s Estate

05.02.2014

Details of former South African president Nelson Mandela’s Will have been made public, revealing how his estimated 46 million rand (£2.53 million) estate is to be divided.

Executors have revealed that the Mandela family trust is set to receive donations plus royalties, while gifts are also set to be made to the African National Congress political party, as well as personal staff, schools and the Wits and Fort Hare Universities.

The Will, which was written in 2004 and amended four years later, also stated his home in Houghton, Johannesburg will be used by the family of his late son Makgatho.

According to the BBC, the executor stated that the reading of the Will with family members was “charged with emotions” and stated they were pleased with the result.

There is now a 90-day period in which claims related to the terms of the Will can be lodged.

Expert Opinion
Unsurprisingly there was much interest in the terms of Mr Mandela’s Will, particularly considering the speculation in the media that it could lead to disagreements among his loved ones.

"There are some other interesting points that it does raise, however, including the 90-day limitation period. This short time limit emphasises how important it is for people with concerns regarding a loved one’s Will to seek advice at an early stage to see if they would have grounds to dispute the terms.

"The time limit for pursuing certain types of claims against Wills in England and Wales expires only six months after the first Grant to the estate is issued by the Probate Registry, so it is very important that a potential claimant seeks legal advice as soon as they realise that they might have grounds to claim.

"Another interesting aspect is how there are numerous gifts made in the document, with funds going to organisations from universities and schools to the ANC party.

"While it is difficult to comment on how such gifts work in South Africa, there can be complications with the offering of such gifts in England and Wales. A notable issue is that recipients are not bound to use them in any particular way, so difficulties can emerge if such funds are not used in the manner which was intended or hoped.

"A similar case on these shores revolved around a woman who left funds to the government in her Will, stating the money could be used 'as they think fit'. This led to confusion regarding whether such funds should be viewed as party donations.

"Following some criticism over the handling of the issue, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives decided to give the funds to HM Treasury. However, the entire affair demonstrated that it is important to be as clear as possible in Wills to avoid confusion as to how estates should be handled."
Katie Winslow, Legal Executive