The accrual system is a popular matrimonial property regime in South Africa that is designed to provide a fair and equitable division of assets between spouses in the event of divorce or death. Under this system, each spouse retains ownership of their own assets and liabilities, but they also share in the growth of their joint estate during the marriage.

To calculate the accrual, you will need to subtract the net value of each spouse’s estate at the start of the marriage from the net value of their respective estates at the end of the marriage. The spouse whose estate shows the smaller increase in value is entitled to half of the difference between the two estates.

Here’s a simplified example:

Let’s say that at the start of their marriage, spouse a’s estate was valued at R1 million and spouse b’s estate was valued at R500,000. At the end of the marriage, spouse a’s estate is valued at R2 million, and spouse b’s estate is valued at R1.5 million.

To calculate the accrual, you would subtract the starting value of each estate from the ending value:

Spouse a’s accrual: R2 million – R1 million = R1 million
Spouse b’s accrual: R1.5 million – R500,000 = R1 million
Since both spouses’ accruals are equal, there is no accrual to be divided. However, if spouse a’s accrual was only R800,000, then they would be entitled to half of the difference between the accruals, which in this case would be R100,000.

It’s important to work with a qualified attorney or financial advisor when calculating the accrual, as there may be complex legal and financial issues involved. They can help ensure that all the necessary calculations are made accurately and that your interests are protected throughout the process.