BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
THE late music superstar and national hero, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s children may find it difficult to challenge his will and testament lodged with the Master of the High Court early this week, as there is no legal provision that entitles adult children to benefit from their father’s estate, NewsDay Life & Style has established.
In the will, Tuku bequeathed his entire estate to his widow Daisy, leaving all his children — Selmor, Samantha, Sandra and Selby — and other relatives who were probably expecting to get something in the cold.
“I hereby bequeath all my properties, share and shares in any company or companies or entities to my wife, Daisy Kudzai Mtukudzi born on the second of February 1959,” reads the will.
Although Selmor and Sandra’s sympathisers felt the daughters could challenge the will and also get a share of their father’s wealth, a legal expert who deals with the administration of deceased estates yesterday said chances of such a legal challenge succeeding were virtually nil.
The expert — who declined to be named for professional reasons — said there was no legal provision that entitled adult children to their father’s wealth upon death.
“All adult children, even minors, can be part of the beneficiaries, but there is no provision in the law that they should benefit. But the advantage of minor children is that they can have recourse to the law if the deceased had the legal duty to provide for them,” he said.
“Selmor and others are self-supporting adults so the chances of successfully challenging the will are very remote, unless if there are allegations of some form of interference (in the drafting of the will), but they need to prove that,” he said.
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The legal practitioner said while it was within anyone’s right to challenge a will, the doctrine of freedom of testation gave Tuku the liberty to draft his will as he saw fit.
He admitted that the will may not have been updated as it was drafted at a time when Tuku was at loggerheads with his daughters with former wife Melody Murape — Selmor and Sandra — after the former made damaging claims of neglect and ill-treatment against Tuku.
The legal expert said it would have been more prudent and responsible for Tuku to award something to his children because by default, Daisy’s children, Samantha and Faith, stand to be the biggest beneficiaries.
“That was not proper and progressive estate planning,” he said.
Immovable properties declared by Daisy in the inventory included several original deeds of transfer, offer letters for subdivision 5 of Bloemfontein, Mazowe, in favour of Oliver Mtukudzi, while movable properties included a Land Rover Discovery, Nissan NP200, Tata bus, Tata truck and a Challenger trailer.