Understanding the Role of an Executor

Appointing an Executor for a Deceased Estate

In South Africa, when a person passes away, their assets are frozen and no one has access to them until an executor is appointed. The executor is authorised by the Master of the High Court through Letters of Executorship to act on behalf of the estate and is responsible for winding up the deceased estate. This involves managing the entire process from start to finish, including distributing assets to the heirs. Executors can be appointed either through the Last Will and Testament or nominated by the family.

The executor’s responsibilities include conducting interviews with the deceased’s relatives, obtaining signatures, and important documents. They are also responsible for keeping the family or relatives informed about the progress of the estate administration process. Although the executor is responsible for the proper administration of the deceased estate, they should appoint an attorney to handle the process on their behalf. This is because the process can be complex, and the Master will not authorise an unqualified executor unless an attorney is appointed.

In terms of remuneration, the executor is entitled to a prescribed fee under the Administration of Estates Act No. 66 of 1965 Section 51 (1). This fee, calculated at 3.5% of the gross value of the assets, is an expense paid by the estate. Siyatec Executors, however, charges an affordable flat rate fee instead of the prescribed tariff.

Siyatec Executors can help you in reporting a deceased estate to the Master’s office and assist with the winding up of the estate. With their expertise and affordable services, Siyatec Executors ensures a smooth and efficient estate administration process.

Author: Wafiq Davids [BSoc Sci (UCT) LLB (SA), LLM (UCT)]
Attorney, Notary, Conveyancer
Director at Siyatec Executors

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