Winding Up a Deceased Estate: Step-by-Step Process
Deceased Estate Winding Up Process
Reporting a Deceased Estate to the Master
Dealing with a deceased estate can be a complex and emotional process. In South Africa, there are specific steps to follow when winding up a deceased estate. This guide will help you understand the general process, which usually takes about 12 months to complete.
Step 1: Report the estate to the Master of the High Court. To begin, the estate must be reported to the Master of the High Court. The Executor, the person responsible for administering the estate, must be nominated either through the Last Will and Testament or by the family.
Step 2: Obtain Letters of Executorship. Approximately 2-3 months after reporting the estate, the Master will issue Letters of Executorship. These letters grant the Executor the authority to act on behalf of the deceased estate.
Step 3: Advertise the estate. The Executor must then advertise the estate in the Government Gazette and a local newspaper. This notice informs creditors of the estate administration process.
Step 4: Submit the Liquidation and Distribution account. After 30 days from the advertisement, the Executor must submit the Liquidation and Distribution account to the Master for approval. The account details the assets and liabilities of the estate, as well as the proposed distribution to beneficiaries.
Step 5: Advertise the Liquidation and Distribution account. Once approved by the Master, the Liquidation and Distribution account must be advertised in the Government Gazette and a local newspaper. This allows interested parties to inspect the account and raise any objections.
Step 6: Distribute the estate. After 30 days from the advertisement of the Liquidation and Distribution account, the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the approved account.
Author: Megan Maggott
Consultant at Siyatec Executors