What Do You Need To Do When Your House Is In A Deceased Estate?

What Do You Need To Do When Your House Is In A Deceased Estate?

If your house is registered in a deceased estate, the deceased person could have been your spouse, parent or sometimes even grand-parent: what do you do?

In South Africa we have a system where ownership of immoveable property, such as a house, is recorded in the Deeds Registry in terms of the Deeds Registries Act. This means that the law does not recognise a person as the owner of a house, unless they are the registered owner in terms of the Deeds Registries Act. If you live in a house and you are not the owner, it can cause many problems for families. For example: you will not be able to sell the house to any other person, you can’t get a loan using the house as security, there may be other people who also claim that the house belongs to them, and you will not be able to sort out any problems with the municipality.

The only way to deal with this problem is to transfer the house from the name of the deceased person to the heirs.

When the registered owner of a house dies, their property forms part of what is called a deceased estate. The property is to be transferred out of the deceased estate to a beneficiary nominated in the Will or where the deceased died without leaving a valid Will, in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. The transfer of the property out of the deceased estate can only be done by a Conveyancer who is an attorney that specialises in property transfers.

Only an executor appointed by the Master in terms of Letters of Executorship can deal with the assets of the deceased. This means the executor can instruct a Conveyancer to transfer a property out of the deceased estate. In most cases the appointed executor is a relative of the deceased, who acts with the assistance of a qualified professional to help with the process.

In summary, the first step is to obtain Letters of Executorship and then to instruct Conveyancers who can attend to the transfer of the property.

We are here to help with getting transfer of homes to their rightful owners. Contact us if you require assistance, or even if you just want to check if your property is actually registered in your name.

To get things started all you need to do is complete our Online Consultation or call us on 021 201 7477 for a free telephone consultation. You can also Whatsapp us on 073 776 7911.

Author: Wafiq Davids (B SocSci, LL.B.)
Attorney, Notary, Conveyancer and Legal Consultant at Siyatec Executors

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