The Legalities Of Dying In South Africa

Dying In South Africa or anywhere else in the world is the one event we share with every other living thing on the earth.

As CS Lewis said “100 percent of us die and the percentage cannot be increased”.  The term death itself is mired in political correctness. We endlessly deny death as something dark and unsettling and focus on what we regard as beautiful and successful, namely healthy living.

Yet we are closer than most to death the way so many people are dying in South Africa by violent means.

How we use Different terms for “Death”

In order to avoid using the term death we create words to replace it. Coined terms such as passed away are used.

In one instance, one woman points out the word ‘lost’, which would occasionally be used once she lost her son, this term made her feel like she had misplaced her son and as well as portraying her as a careless mother”, the woman replies by indicating that she did not lose him instead he died”.

Dying in South Africa

Dying in South Africa

It is an inescapable reality that our deaths are imminent no matter how painful the transition is and the loss we need to prepare for it and know what to do.

Experiences have taught us that when a loved one or someone close to you dies there is always a flurry of activity, people to inform about the death, copies of the needed documents to be made as well the funeral arrangements but rarely are we ever aware of the legal aspects of death and how to approach them.

The challenges of dying in South Africa

Vicky Ireland understands this all too well and sought to write a book about the legal aspects of dying in South Africa and the challenges she faced were all too real, information was not readily available and if there was any.

The only available information was merely some limited data of scattered information; she therefore took the challenge of piecing all this information for all readers in her book ‘The Legal aspects of Dying’ which details the legal processes set in South Africa concerning death.

She introduces the reader to terms that they may not be aware of or have no understanding of. These include cremation, executor, estate and also the role of parliament in creating and legislating these laws.

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