, 721776, DIRECT, d4c29acad76ce94f

Marriage law: What happens when a man in a polygamy marriage dies without a will 

Marriage law: What happens when a man in a polygamy marriage dies without a will

“Polygamy is legally recognized, and all wives in a customary marriage have an equal share in the deceased husband’s estate.” Once the husband is buried, an estate file must be opened at the master of the high court.


An executor will be appointed who will then start with administering the deceased’s estate and make sure debts are paid. Thereafter, the executor will allocate each wife an equal share of the estate. The children will also be given their share. “



All polygamous marriages entered into in accordance with the provisions of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act are legal, the Constitutional Court ruled in November 2019.

The Customary Marriages Act of 1998 recognizes polygamy, a husband who has registered his marriage under the Act is permitted to register additional marriages under the Act provided he sticks to the regulations under the Act regarding his property. That is, at his own cost, the husband has to get an order from a competent court that will regulate his future matrimonial property system.


The Act states that customary marriages entered after the commencement of this Act must be registered within a period of three months after the conclusion of the marriage, and those entered before the Act to be registered within 12 months of the commencement of the Act.

Also read: How to get your share in a traditional marriage during divorce 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *