harare-magistrates-court.03.09.10.jpgThe Deputy Master of the High Court Mr. Eldart Mutasa says the public must seek legal advice to avoid disinheritance of estates.

 

This follows numerous clashes among family members claiming estates of deceased relatives that have been reported in the media or have been brought before the master of the high court.

 

Issues of inheritance normally cause disputes, strife and sometimes long running court battles.

 

Sometimes, surviving spouses often encounter double tragedy due to disinheritance or illegal marriages.

 

 Mr. Eldart Mutasa, says his office receives numerous reports of such cases and has attributed the problem to ignorance which however cannot be an excuse in the courts of law.

 

“When people want a divorce they need to dissolve their marriage formally not through affidavits or diaries. The court will only recognize the first marriage and not any other marriages.” said Mr Mutasa.

 

Mr Mutasa advised the public on the need to verify the marriage status of their partners before getting into marriage to avoid bigamy. He said some cases of bigamy may remain unnoticed until the death of one spouse, only to discover that the marriage was not valid.

 

Under the deceased’s Family Act, a surviving spouse or one of the beneficiaries can be an executor provided that the person has the capacity. This provision can be helpful in cases of unscrupulous executors who sometimes defraud estates.