Question posted in the General Law category relating to Limpopo
I cant find the "Estate" advice. Apollogies if this is wrong.
My mother passed during the covid lockdown in May 2021. I reside on the property in a cottage and have been staying there for over six years. I've been unemployed for the greater part of 6 years. I did freelance work away from home whenever the opportunity arised, but it was not sustainable for me to be able to pay rent. In paying my share for staying in the cottage I did maintenance in and around the house I.e painting the entire house, fixing equipment, taking out trees, etc. I also took my late mother anywhere she wanted or had to go I.e to do her weekly groceries, to the doctor, to pay her bills and to go far like Pretoria or Johannesburg, even Capetown to see family. Thus I had the use of the vehicle (VW Polo) I could use it even if I got the opportunity to go do freelance work away from home for a week or three.
I was busy doing my “Drone Pilot Licence” and at the time of her passing I was ment to go do my Practical in Pretoria, but could not go. My brother and sister had a meeting (without me) and Momentum and they decided my sister will take the Polo, she came and fetched it.
Since her passing I was kind off stuck here, I could not leave the property for long periods, they broke in once and after that I put my own security system up and made sure I'll know at anytime if someone entered. I maintaned the garden, mowing the lawn and keeping everything neat and tidy like it used to be. I kept on doing maintenance, I tiled the back doors entance where tiles we're broken for instance, Fixed the gate and any other maintenance that was needed. I know if you don't attend to a property it becomes delapitated very quickly, and cause the value to drop.
Eventually after almost 3 years (with help) I started packing all her belongings away in boxes so that we can get tenants to rent the house, it was a very sad experience. I got a family to rent on face book and all was set. I had to pack all the content of the house into the cottage out of consideration of the costs it will be for everyone paying storage after it became clear they dont want to pay for storage. I can't stay there any longer because I only have the couch to sleep on, everything is packed up to the roof. I slept a night or two over at a friends place but can't overstay my welcome. My sister took over as apointed executor and she is handling the deposit, monthly rent etc.
I need to mention, my mother owns a small property in the Cape and received R4200 monthly for rent. After she passed my brother and sister agreed that I can get that money to use until we know whats going to happen or the estate is finalised.
The estate is almost finalised and now I've been notified that I have to pay back the total sum of R4200 x 25 months. This money will be deducted from my inheritance. My sister is the executor and she makes the decicions, my whole argument is:
Is this fair by deducting it from my inheritance?
What would it have cost the estate if we had to get these services I.e Caretaker, garden service and security?
I had to sit there and could basically not go on with my own life, look for work, finish my pilot licence etc. I was under the impression that for offering up myself and my time the R4200 is to keep me staying there doing all of these abovementioned chores. We all know that in this day and age R4200 is basic, you cant do much but buy the basics.
If I knew that I had to pay I would not have agreed, there was no mention of this.
What am I to do? Thank you.