Deceased Estate Administration

Our law requires that a deceased estate be reported to the Master of the High Court within 2 weeks of the date of death. You require an administrator that attends to the matter with the necessary care, accuracy and urgency.

HOW DO YOU REPORT AN ESTATE TO THE MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT?
The reporting documents will differ slightly depending on the value of the estate and the type of appointment required.
The Magistrate's Offices service points will only have jurisdiction if the deceased did not leave a valid will and the gross value of the estate is less than R50 000. Letters of Authority entitle the nominated representative to administer the estate without following the full procedure set out in the Administration of Estates Act.

However, if the value of the estate is less than R250 000, the Master may dispense with Letters of Executorship, and issue Letters of Authority in terms of section 18(3) of the Administration of Estates Act.

If the value of the estate exceeds R250 000, Letters of Executorship must be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estate Act must be followed.
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ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE (PROCESS)
  • The reporting documents are delivered to the Master.
  • The Master appoints an Executor.
  • The Executor advertises in a local newspaper and the Government Gazette, inviting all creditors to prove their claims.
  • The Executor opens an estate bank account.
  • The Executor winds up the estate.
  • A Liquidation and Distribution (L&D) account is drawn up.
  • The Master of the High Court approves the L&D account.
  • The L&D Account has to lay open for inspection at the local Magistrate's office for 21 (twenty one) days.
  • The Executor has to advertise in a local newspaper and the Government Gazette that the L&D account will lay open for inspection at the Magistrate's court.
  • If there are no objections to the L&D account, the Executor pays out all the creditors and the heirs.
  • Final documents and affidavits are submitted to the Master to close the estate file
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WHAT DOCUMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPORT THE ESTATE TO THE MASTER?
The following reporting documents are required
  • Completed death notice (form J294)
  • Original or certified copy of the death certificate
  • Original or certified copy of a marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • All original wills and codicils or documents intended as such (if any)
  • Next-of-kin affidavit if the deceased did not leave a valid will (form J192)
  • Completed inventory form (form J243)
  • Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of an executor in the case of an intestate estate, or where no executor has been nominated in the will, or the nominated executor has died or declines the appointment.
  • Completed acceptance of trust as executor forms in duplicate by the person(s) nominated as executor(s) (form J190) plus a certified copy of the photo page of the executor's ID document. An undertaking and bond of security, unless the nominated executor has been exempted from providing security in the will, or is the parent, spouse or child of the deceased (form J262)
  • Affidavit by the next-of-kin of a deceased person who has died without leaving a valid will, to the effect that the estate has not already been reported to another Master or service point (if applicable)
  • Declaration of subsisting marriages
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Probates: Administrators of Deceased Estates