Introduction

Where the gross value of an estate is worth less than R125 000,00 the procedure to finalise the administration of the estate is far simpler than where the estate's value is more. The procedure may be attended to without the assistance of a professional and is set out below.

Funeral Arrangements

Funeral arrangements have to be made. Details of the deceased's wishes regarding cremation or burial must be ascertained. These details may be found in the Will of the deceased. Friends and family must be advised to give them the opportunity of attending the service. The funeral home will organise newspaper advertisements, teas and flowers, if required.

Documents required to report the estate

The original Will must be located and certain documents, which may be obtained from the Master's office, must be completed:

The following must be sent to the Master's Office:

  • Original Will
  • Death Notice
  • Certified copy of the Death Certificate (obtained from the funeral home)
  • Inventory (reflecting the deceased's assets)
  • Application Form to be completed by the nominated executor in terms of the Will
  • Consents by the heirs to the appointment of the nominated executor when there is no Will
  • Next-of-Kin Affidavit if there are any minors OR if there is no Will

These documents may be obtained from:
Master of the High Court
29 Western Road
Central
PORT ELIZABETH
Tel: +27 41 502 7406

Letters of Authority
The Master issues the Letters of Authority which authorises the representative (executor) to proceed with the estate administration.

Procedure

Certified copies of the Letters of Authority should be forwarded to the following institutions:

  • Banking institutions requesting the accounts to be closed
  • Insurance companies requesting their requirements to enable the proceeds of the policies to be paid
  • Medical Aid and Pension Funds advising of the death of the member
  • Short term insurance companies requesting them to transfer or cancel the policy
  • Stock brokers requesting them to sell or transfer shares. They will require the original share certificate and a CM42 Form

Distribution of Assets

Settle the debts and distribute the balance of the estate assets to the heirs in terms of the Will. Contact the traffic department to arrange transfer of any motor vehicle and contact an attorney to arrange transfer of any immovable property.

General

The information set out above relates to an estate with a gross value of under R125 000,00. Should you require information relating to the administration of estates with a value of over R125 000,00, which will require the assistance of a professional, kindly contact us for our brochure setting out the procedures.

Information required when administering an estate

Personal

  1. Death Certificate (obtained from funeral home)
  2. Identity Document of deceased
  3. Marriage Certificate
  4. Surviving spouse's Identity Document
  5. Antenuptial Contract
  6. Divorce Order (required by Insurance Company)
  7. Names of deceased's parents
  8. Addresses of beneficiaries
  9. Name of predeceased spouse or divorced spouse - date and place of death and Master's reference number

Assets

  1. Deed of Transfer / Mortgage Bond
  2. Registration papers for motor vehicle
  3. Firearm Licences
  4. Share Certificates
  5. Investment Certificates
  6. Bank account details and the name of the branch
  7. Insurance policy documents
  8. Short term insurance policy document
  9. Name of Brokers
  10. Employer's name
  11. Pension/Provident Fund
  12. Particulars of Business interests
  13. Inter Vivos Trusts / Loan Account / Letters of Authority
  14. Details of foreign assets
  15. Usufructuary or fiduciary interests

Liabilities

  1. Bond Account details
  2. Hire purchase agreements
  3. Funeral Expenses / Funeral Cover
  4. List of outstanding Accounts

General

  1. Pension details
  2. Medical Aid details / address
  3. Income Tax/Vat reference number
  4. Name of Accountants
  5. Deeds / Security Box held with Banking Institution