If you do not sign an Ante Nuptial Contract (ANC) before your wedding, you are by default married IN community of property. This means that all your assets and liabilities, even those acquired before marriage, are merged into a joint estate, in which both you and your spouse has an undivided half-share.
What does it mean to be married out of community of property?
A marriage out of community of property, with or without accrual. This type of marriage comes into effect when the parties enter into an ante-nuptial contract. This is a contract entered into by both parties and sets out the rules and conditions in respect of the division of assets, and which will apply during the marriage.
Is a spouse entitled to an inheritance?
Nobody is entitled to an inheritance, not even a spouse. A spouse can however be protected in terms of the Maintenance of Surviving Spouse Act 27 of 1990 or in the event where a person dies without a Will, in terms of the Law of Intestate Succession.
Do you have to share an inheritance with your spouse?
No. If someone is married by ante nuptial contract, with or without the accrual system, an inheritance is by default excluded from the estate. If someone is married in community of property, the Testator who bequeaths the inheritance to a person (beneficiary), can exclude such inheritance from the consequences of a marriage in community of property of the beneficiary. But if someone is married in community of property and the Testator who bequeaths the inheritance to a person does not specifically exclude such inheritance from the consequences of a marriage in community of property of his beneficiary, such inheritance forms part of the communal estate of the beneficiary.
How do you divide assets in a divorce?
No one plans for a divorce when planning for a wedding. If you are married by ante nuptial contract, the type of contract you enter into determines the division of the assets in the different estates. It is in almost all cases supplemented by an Agreement between the parties, which is then made an order of the Court. If someone is married In community of Property, each party in the marriage is entitled to half of the assets. Meaning, that each person has an undivided share in the communal pool of assets.