What is the effect of the accrual system in a marriage contract, on death or divorce?

This is an example of a standard calculation at the death of the first-dying: 

Note:  The Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 is applicable to

  • every marriage out of community of property entered into on or after 1 November 1984 in terms of a antenuptial contract by which the accrual system is included or excluded; and
  • spouses married before 1 November 1984 out of community of property by antenuptial contract and before 1 November 1986 executed and registered a notarial contract applying the accrual system to their marriage in the deeds registry.

The following assets are not considered in determining their respective accruals (are not included in the nett value of estate assets, in this example):

  • Any asset excluded from the accrual system under the antenuptial contract as well as any other asset which the spouse acquired by virtue of his/her possession or former possession of such asset.
  • An inheritance, legacy or donation which accrues to a spouse during the subsistence of the marriage, except in so far as the spouses may agree otherwise in their antenuptial contract or in so far as the testator/trix or donor may stipulate otherwise, as well as any other asset which has been acquired by the spouse by virtue of his/her possession or former possession of the inheritance, legacy or donation.
  • Any donation between the spouses is not considered in either estate.
  • Any amount which accrued to a spouse by way of damages (e.g. slander), other than damages for patrimonial loss.

Example – accrual on death of first dying:

At the commencement of the marriage, A declared R 100,000 and B nil in their antenuptial contract. At the dissolution of the marriage on A’s death the respective net market values of their estates assets are A R 3,000,000 and B R 100,000. At the date of the marriage the official Consumer Price Index was 120 and at A’s death it is 300:

A’s estate:
Net value (assets minus admin costs and liabilities) at death         3,000,000.00
Less: Net value declared at commencement of marriage 100,000.00
Adjusted for Consumer Price Index 300 X 100,000 ÷ 120                           250,000.00
Net value of accrual (a)           2,750,000.00
B’s estate:
Net value (assets minus liabilities) at death of A                100,000.00
Less: Net value declared at commencement of marriage                             nil
Net value of accrual (b)                 100,000.00
Difference between accruals: (a) 2,750,00 less (b) 100,000 2,650,000.00
B is entitled to claim one-half thereof from the estate of A             1,325,000.00



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