Consumer Information

Author:   Tarryn Jason
Jason Attorneys Inc.
July 2020

Estates

This division of law affects each one of us and deals with all the assets and liabilities which each person has.

One may either die testate (leaving a valid will) or intestate (not leaving a valid will). Where one leaves a valid will, the deceased estate will be dealt with according to the provisions of the will. Where one dies intestate, the deceased estate is distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987.

On death, whether testate or intestate, the Master of the High Court will require an Executor to be appointed for each deceased estate who will be responsible for the winding up of such estate. Where a valid will exists, an Executor is usually appointed. However, where no valid will exists, the Master will appoint an Executor, based on his/her discretion or by nomination by the next-of-kin of the deceased. It must be noted that where the estate’s value is not greater than R250,000.00, a Master’s Representative will be appointed and not an Executor. The winding-up process is simplified in this instance.

The administration of an estate may be performed by anyone but due to its complex nature and stringent legal requirements, it is always best to seek legal advice and assistance. We provide assistance at any step of the way, from drafting of a will or testamentary trust (simple or complex) including the legal advice on same on the best way to protect your estate during your lifetime and after, to providing legal advice on legalities of estates, to winding up of an estate as Executor or as agent to the Executor. For your information, a fact that is often overlooked by the lay person when drafting their will, is that the Executor of the estate is entitled to 3.5% of the value of the assets of the estate and 6% of all the income received into the deceased estate up until the winding-up process is completed. This is a fee we are happy to negotiate on.

The administration of the estate process:  Master’s Office – can be viewed here:

The original article by Jason Inc. can be viewed here: