Legal action regarding Joost’s will declaration cancelled
THE FAMILY of rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen are no longer going ahead with legal proceedings to try to declare a will which was left unsigned by the former Springbok as valid.
The will is said to be the last one drafted on behalf of Joost in 2015, in terms of which his estranged wife Amor Vittone only inherited a television set.
This will was earlier rejected by the master of the high court, as it was not signed by the then already ailing Joost. He suffered from motor neurone disease and was too weak to sign himself.
His lawyer, Ferdi Hartzenberg, signed it as commissioner of oaths, but someone had to sign on behalf of Joost.
Hartzenberg did not want to comment on the issue, other than to confirm that they will no longer launch urgent proceedings in the high court in Pretoria to have that will declared valid.
“I have received instructions from Joost’s family not to go ahead with the application,” Hartzenberg told The Star’s sister paper, the Pretoria News.
It is understood that most of Joost’s assets have in any event been moved to the J9 Trust, which trustees will administer. The trustees are in the process of being appointed. Joost’s two children, Jordan, 13, and Kylie, 11, are the beneficiaries.
It is understood that the assets in the trust, among others, include two properties. The children will benefit from the trust once they have come of age.
Amor has, meanwhile, submitted a will signed by both of them in 2009, in terms of which she inherited everything in the estate. This includes Joost’s half of their home in Dainfern Valley. Amor owned the other half.
The family will also not contest this will as it is believed that the family are not interested in further confrontation with Amor regarding Joost’s assets.
The J9 Trust is, meanwhile, at this stage still paying maintenance to Amor for the care of their two children.
During an interview on a radio station last week, Amor made it clear that she was acting in the best interests of her children. She wanted them to maintain the lifestyle and hobbies they were accustomed to.
Joost passed away in February this year following a long battle with motor neurone disease. He and Amor were still married in community of property at the time of his death, although they were separated.
Joost made a new will – the one rejected by the master of the high court – in terms of which his children inherited everything. In terms of this now invalid will, Joost made it clear that Amor may not receive any direct benefit from the J9 Trust. He also stated in that will that it was important for him that his children maintained a good relationship with his parents.
He also specified certain items in that will which he wanted his children to have. These included several World Cup memorabilia which were to be divided between the children, as well as his Springbok blazers.
Joost was embroiled in bitter legal proceedings until shortly before his death with the Attorneys Fidelity Fund to secure R385665 held in a trust account of his former attorney, Robert Klinkenberg, who had allegedly committed suicide due to a shortfall of millions in his trust account.
The court on several occasions ordered that Joost should get his money, despite appeal attempts by the fund. It took Joost several months before he was able to secure this money, which is believed to form part of the trust.
The children will benefit from the trust once they are of age
INHERITANCE: Joost van der Westhuizen at the launch of the SA Rugby Museum at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in 2013.