LETTERS OF EXECUTORSHIP

Reporting the Estate to the Master

The first step in getting Letters of Executorship is reporting the deceased estate to the Master. All you have to do, is complete the online consultation. We will then prepare all the documents required to report the estate and set up a meeting with you for signature.

The documents that we complete after receiving the online consultation is as follows:

  • Death Notice
  • Inventory
  • Nomination form or Will
  • Acceptance of trust as Executor
  • Next of Kin Affidavit

The following documents are to be uploaded during the online consultation.

  • Death Certificate
  • Original Will if applicable
  • ID of the deceased
  • ID of the Nominated Executor
  • If the deceased was married; ID of spouse and marriage certificate

Letters of Executorship issued by the Master

Letters of Executorship over R 250 000.00 estates

  • The Master issues Letters of Executorship about 3 months after receiving the Reporting Documents.
  • Once Letters of Executorship have been issued the Executor is authorized by the Master to act on behalf of the estate and to continue with the winding up process.
  • At this stage the Executor will attend to the following:
    • Open up an estate bank account.
    • Close the deceased’s bank account and transfer funds into the estate bank account.
    • Financial institutions where the deceased held policies can be contacted to release payments into the estate bank account.
    • If there is a house or other immovable property in the estate, the transfer process will start.
    • First advertisement of the deceased estate in local newspaper and Government Gazette. This takes the form of a Notice to Creditors that the estate of the deceased is in the process of being wound up.

WHO IS THE MASTER
WHO IS THE EXECUTOR

Letters of Authority under R250 000.00 estates

  • In this case the Master issues Letters of Authority which has the same effect as Letters of Executorship.
  • At this stage the Administrator will attend to the following:
    • Open up an estate bank account.
    • Close the deceased’s bank account and transfer funds into the estate bank account.
    • Financial institutions where the deceased held policies can be contacted to release payments into the estate bank account.
    • If there is a house or other immovable property in the estate, the transfer process will start.
    • No advertisement is required and the Administrator can proceed to distribute the estate in accordance with the Intestate Succession Act or Will, if there is one.

Liquidation and Distribution Account

  • 30 days after the date on which the estate is advertised in the local newspaper and Government Gazette, the Liquidation and Distribution (L&D) account is drawn up by our Legal Consultants and submitted to the Master for approval.
  • Estates with a value of less than R 250 000.00 do not require an L&D to be submitted to the Master.
  • The L&D is an accurate account of the deceased estate.
  • The L&D contains a list of the following items:
    • Immovable property
    • Movable property
    • Claims in favour of the estate
    • Claims against the estate
    • Cash statement
    • Distribution account
    • Estate Duty
  • Once the Master has approved the L&D account, a notice must be advertised in the local newspaper and Government Gazette that the L&D account is available to be inspected by interested parties at the Master’s Office. The L&D account must be available for inspection for 21 days without objection before the estate can be distributed.

Distribution of the Deceased Estate

  • 21 days after the L&D account has been available for inspection and no objections to the L&D have been received, the deceased estate may be distributed to its rightful heirs. Distribution usually takes place 10 to 12 months after first receiving instructions to report the estate to the Master.
  • At this stage the expenses of the estate must also be paid. This includes the expenses of the deceased as well as the expenses of winding up the estate. If the estate does not have money to pay expenses the heirs of the estate must jointly contribute to payment of the estate expenses.
  • The heirs of the estate are those persons who will receive something from the deceased estate, this may be a house, money or any other asset such as a car.
  • The heirs are determined by the Will of the deceased or if the deceased did not have a Will the heirs are determined by the Intestate Succession Act. A person can give anything he or she owns to any person by means of a Will. In most cases an heir in terms of the Intestate Succession Act would be the spouse of the deceased and all the children of the deceased.
  • If there are children of the deceased who have passed away, then the benefit which would have gone to that deceased child now goes to the heirs of the deceased child.
  • Transfer of immovable property, such as a house, is done in terms of the Deeds Registries Act and follows a different procedure.
  • The cost of transferring immovable property out of the estate is an additional cost which is not covered by the Flat Rate Fee.