Who should report the estate and where?
When someone dies leaving assets of economic value, or leaving a Will, the surviving spouse or closest family member nearby, should within 14 days report the estate to the Master’s Office in the area where the deceased last resided.
I have been nominated in the Will as executor, but I have no idea what to do?
If the total value of estate assets is NOT more than R250 000.00, you should consider going to the Master’s Office. The officials there help the public to get the right forms and to get you appointed as estate representative, in terms of Section 18(3) of the Estates Act.
In all other estates you will need assistance. There are many formalities and pitfalls. You should consult a lawyer who deals with deceased estates.
We don’t know if the Will we have is the last one. What are we supposed to do?
Whoever has it in his or her possession an original Will of the deceased, should see to it that it gets submitted to the Master’s Office without delay. It is not that person’s responsibility to check if it is indeed the latest Will of the deceased. That is for the Master’s Office to determine.
What happens if there is no Will?
The estate should in any event be reported at the Master’s Office. It will be dealt with in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. The Master will request that nominations be submitted by the next-of-kin for the appointment of executor. Whoever is appointed, if that person has no relevant experience, should seek the assistance of an estate lawyer.
What are Executor’s fees?
The official tariff is 3,5% of the gross value of the estate – in other words, the value of total assets without deducting estate debts and liabilities.
How much estate duty is payable?
Estate duty kicks in when the net value of the estate exceeds R3,5 million. The rate is 20% what exceeds R3,5 million and 25% on what exceeds R30 million. There are several allowable deductions, exemptions and other factors that may warrant getting professional advise.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for the drafting of your will or to assist you with the administration of any deceased estates.