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DECEASED ESTATES

WHAT IS A DECEASED ESTATE?

Where a person passes away and they have left behind any assets and money to their name, a deceased estate comes into existence. If the deceased left behind a will, their estate will be administered in accordance with the will. If the deceased died without a will, their estate will be administered in terms of the Intestate Succession Act.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS REQUIRED IN REPORTING A DECEASED ESTATE IN SOUTH AFRICA?

STEP 1:

  1. If the deceased executed a Will before passing their estate will be administered Regulated by the Administration of Wills Act
  2. If the deceased passed away without a Will their estate will be administered Regulated by the Intestate Succession Act

STEP 2:

REPORTING THE DECEASED ESTATE

  • The deceased estate must be reported within 14 (fourteen days) of the date of death.
  • The deceased estate must be reported to the Master’s office within the jurisdiction that the deceased lived in
  • The estate must be reported by the Executor of the estate.
  • The Executor of an estate can appoint an agent such as a law firm to assist in the reporting of an estate.

STEP 3:

APPOINTMENT OF AN EXECUTOR

WHO CAN BE AN EXECUTOR:

  • A person can appoint an executor in terms of their Will.
  • Where a person dies without a Will the heirs to the estate may nominate someone to the executor of the deceased estate.
  • A nomination form must be completed by the heirs of the estate.
  • An attorney can be nominated to be the Executor of a deceased estate. The attorney can be nominated in terms of a will or by the heirs to a deceased estate if the deceased died without a will.
  • A family member can be appointed as the Executor and be assisted by an attorney who will act on behalf of the executors an agent

FUNCTION OF THE EXECUTOR:

  • Settle the liabilities of deceased
  • Open a bank account for the deceased estate
  • Close the deceased bank accounts
  • Collect the assets for the deceased estate
  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will.
  • Distribute in terms of the Intestate Succession Act.
  • Making payments toward creditors.
  • Sell or transfer the deceased’s property.

STEP 4:

Letter of Authority vs Letter of Executorship

  1. DECEASED ESTATE LESS THAN R250 000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand rand) = LETTER OF AUTHORITY
  2. DECEASED ESTATE TO THE VALUE OF R250 000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand rand or more = LETTER OF EXECUTORSHIP

STEP 5:

REPORTING DOCUMENTS

All estates regardless of their value needs to be reported.

All estates regardless of their value are required to complete the list of reporting documents below:

  1. Nomination Form;
  2. Next of Kin Affidavit;
  3. Acceptance of Trust as Executor;
  4. Death Notice;
  5. A Declaration of Marriage by the Surviving Spouse indicating how the deceased was married
  6. Inventory Form; Declaration confirming that the estate has not already been reported to another Master’s office or Service Point of the Master;

STEP 6:

DOCUMENTS THAT WE REQUIRE:

  • Original Death Certificate;
  • Identity Document for the deceased;
  • Marriage Certificate if the deceased was married;
  • The Will and Codicils left by the deceased;
  • Proof of a customary marriage or registration of a customary marriage
  • Declaration confirming the existence of a same-sex life partnership;
  • List of deceased’s assets and liabilities (creditors);
  • Certified Copy of the executors identity document;
  • Signed Nomination form.

STEP 7:

LETTER OF EXECUTORSHIP

For further assistance with the procedures that follow after a Letter Of Executorship kindly contact our offices.

ADMINISTRATION OF A DECEASED ESTATE

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