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Estate administration: The Master’s final requirements

Upon approval of the Liquidation and Distribution account, the Master of the High Court (Master) will issue a J242 memorandum. This document sets out the final requirements that must be met by the executor before the estate can be finalised with the Master.

The Master’s final requirements consists of three segments, namely:

Requirements before the Liquidation and Distribution account is advertised

These requirements generally comprise of outstanding documentation not yet submitted to the Master. Some of these include the following:

–   Antenuptial contract

–   Estate duty return

–   Power of attorney under which the account was signed

–   Divorce orders

The above requirements must first be met before the executor can continue to advertise the second set of advertisements. Failure to do so may lead to unnecessary delays as the Master can force you to advertise again.

Requirements before distribution

Once the Master has given permission to publish the second set of advertisements, the executor can continue to give notice to all parties concerned, that a copy of the Liquidation and Distribution account will be made available for public inspection at the Master’s Office and also the nearest Magistrate’s Office in the area where the deceased lived for the last 12 months of his/her life.

As soon as the Master has been furnished with proof of the advertisement of the account, the executor can move on to the last segment of the requirements.

Requirements after the estate has lain open for inspection free from objections

These generally include the following:

–   Proof of payment of estate duty

–   Proof of payment of Master’s Fees

–   Proof of distribution to the beneficiaries

–   Proof that all creditors in the estate have been paid

–   Proof of transfer of any properties

–   Complete set of bank statements and paid cheques

As soon as the Master has been furnished with proof of the last segment of requirements, the Master can be approached for permission to provide the executor with a J183 filing slip as evidence that the estate has been finalised. The J183 filing slip should, however, not be construed as a formal discharge of the executor in terms of section 56(1) of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965. An executor can only be discharged from his/her duties through a formal application to the Master.

This is the final step in the estate administration process.

Herewith the final schematic presentation of the complete estate administration process:

 

ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

STEP 1: REPORTING THE ESTATE

 

Time scale: 4 – 8 weeks

 

STEP 2: LETTER OF EXECUTORSHIP

 

Time scale: 4 – 6 weeks

 

STEP 3: ADVERTISEMENTS

 

Time scale: 4 weeks

 

Note: Record keeping of estate finances is analogous to the time it takes for the estate to be administered.

 

STEP 4: LIQUIDATION AND DISTRIBUTION

 

Time scale: 4 – 8 weeks

 

STEP 5: MASTER’S FINAL REQUIREMENTS

 

Time scale: 6 – 12 weeks

Note: If there are any properties that need to be transferred out of the estate, the process may take longer as the Deeds Offices have their own turnaround times.

Our fiduciary team at BVSA Konsult has decades of experience in estate administration and is professionally equipped to assist you with any matters related to or in connection therewith. Please contact any of our fiduciary/financial practitioners/advisors for a quote and expert advice.

Reghardt Draper FPSA®

Adv Dip ETA (UFS), LLB, LLM (NWU), PG Dip FP

 

 

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