Letters of Executorship for Deceased Estates


Online Consultation Process

Letters of Executorship are a crucial part of estate administration in South Africa. The first step in obtaining these letters is to report the deceased estate to the Master. Siyatec Executors can assist you with this process by offering an online consultation, where we will prepare all the necessary documents required for reporting the estate and set up a meeting with you for signature. The documents that we complete after receiving the online consultation include the Death Notice, Inventory, Nomination form or Will, Acceptance of Trust as Executor, and Next of Kin Affidavit. To ensure a smooth process, you will need to upload the following documents during the online consultation: Death Certificate, Original Will if applicable, ID of the deceased, ID of the Nominated Executor, and if the deceased was married, ID of the spouse and marriage certificate. By using Siyatec Executors’ services, you can rest assured that your Letters of Executorship and estate administration will be handled professionally and efficiently.

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Reporting the Estate to the Master & Letters of Executorship

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 or Letters of Authority 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.
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

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.
To get started send us a WhatsApp or visit our contact page.

How do I report a deceased estate to the Master in South Africa?

To report a deceased estate to the Master, you should complete an online consultation, which will help generate the necessary documents such as Death Notice, Inventory, Nomination form or Will, Acceptance of Trust as Executor, and Next of Kin Affidavit.

What documents are required for the online consultation when reporting a deceased estate?

The required documents for the online consultation include the Death Certificate, the deceased’s ID, the Nominated Executor’s ID, the Original Will (if applicable), the spouse’s ID (if the deceased was married), and the marriage certificate.

How long does it take for the Master to issue Letters of Executorship?

The Master usually issues Letters of Executorship approximately three months after receiving the Reporting Documents.

What is the cost of transferring immovable property out of the estate in South Africa?

The cost of transferring immovable property out of the estate is an additional cost not covered by the Flat Rate Fee. The transfer is done in terms of the Deeds Registries Act and follows a separate procedure.

What is the difference between Letters of Executorship and Letters of Authority in South Africa?

Letters of Executorship are issued for estates valued over R 250,000, while Letters of Authority are issued for estates valued under R 250,000. Both documents authorize the person to act on behalf of the deceased estate, but the requirements for each may differ slightly.

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