Trusts & Estates

Our Estates Department deals with the following aspects, namely:

  • Drafting of wills
  • Drafting of testamentary trusts
  • Administration of deceased estates
  • Estate planning
  • Registration of inter vivos trusts

The loss of a loved one has a tremendous impact on the family and the process associated with winding up their personal affairs, can be daunting. Our Estates Department is fully equipped to deal with those matters and understand the emotional difficulties our clients experience during this time.

1
1 Week Process
Obtain all relevant documentation and information from the surviving spouse/heirs
2
1 Week Process
Complete various reporting documents and report the estate to the Master of the High Court. All original wills, if there are any, are filed with the Master’s office for consideration
3
3 - 4 Week Process
The Master of the High Court issues Letter of Executorship and without this document the executor is unable to deal with any of the assets in the estate.
4
3 - 4 Week Process

On receipt of the Letters of Executorship, the executor may now start dealing with the deceased estate and will determine the liquidity thereof. The duties of an executor at this point include the following:

  • Advertisement in the Government Gazette as well as the local newspapers advising creditors to lodge their claims / debtors to pay claims due to the estate within 30 days of date of advertisement
  • Opening of an estate bank account
  • Obtaining valuations of all movable and immovable assets and to arrange short term insurance, if applicable
  • Sell movable and immovable assets, if so instructed
  • Dealing with any shares and the sale thereof, if so instructed
  • Closing the bank accounts of the deceased
  • Collecting insurance policies
  • Notifying medical aids and pension funds
  • Communicating with creditors to obtain final debit balances and statements
  • Settle claims against the estate once cash is collected on behalf of the estate
  • Finalising outstanding SARS tax returns, if any
  • Prepare the liquidation and distribution account
5
6 - 8 Week Process

The liquidation and distribution account is now lodged with the Master of the High Court for approval. This account reflects the following information:

  • All assets and liabilities in the estate
  • The income collected and all expenses paid during the period between the date of death and date of preparing the account
  • Information on how the assets are to be distributed among the heirs, be it in terms of the will or in terms of Intestate Succession
  • A recapitulation of cash in the estate
  • The calculation of estate duty, if applicable

The Master will either approve the account, request further information or request amendments to the account. Where amendments are required, the account must be re-lodged for examination.

6
3 - 4 Week Process
On approval of the liquidation and distribution account by the Master’s office, the executor places another advertisement in the Government Gazette and local newspapers, notifying any interested parties that the account will lie open for inspection by the public at the local Magistrate Court and the Master’s office for a period of 21 days.
7
2 - 3 Month Process

Provided no objections were raised against the account, the executor will proceed to deal with the following:

  • Pay all cash inheritances to the heirs
  • Transfer all movable and immovable assets which were not sold during the winding up process.
  • Pay any outstanding debts which have not yet been settled
  • Pay the Master’s fees
  • Pay the estate duty due to SARS, if any

Upon finalisation of the above the executor will prepare an affidavit declaring that all assets, liabilities and payment of inheritance have been finalised.

8
4 - 5 Week Process

The executor now applies to the Master for filing of the estate and send in support of the application the following:

  • The affidavit declaring that all creditors have been paid and all heirs have received their inheritance
  • Proof of settlement of Master’s fees
  • Proof of advertisement of the liquidation and distribution account
9
1 Week Process

The Master’s office issues the filing slip.

Contact

Karen Britz
Karen Britz
Estates
Branch Bluff and Amanzimtoti
Tel Number 031 835 9700
Cell 083 456 5276
Maria Davey
Maria Davey
Trusts
Branch Berea
Tel Number 031 835 9700
Cell 083 300 2378

Thank You