FAQ: Administration of Deceased Estates

  1. What is a deceased estate?

A deceased estate comes into existence when a person dies and leaves property or a document which is a will. A deceased estate consists of all assets and liabilities of a person at the date of death.

  1. What is the administration of an estate?

The administration of an estate is the process during which the estate of the deceased is dealt with i.e. all expenses and liabilities are paid and the remainder of the assets are distributed accordingly.

  1. Which deceased estates must be reported?

The death of a person who dies in South Africa and leaves property or a will.

  1. Who must the deceased estate be reported to?

All deaths must be reported to the Master of the High Court in the area where the deceased was living.

  1. When must a deceased estate be reported?

A deceased estate should be reported to the Master of the High Court within 14 days of the date of death by any person having control or possession of any property or a will of the deceased.

  1. How is a deceased estate reported?

The estate is reported by lodging a completed death notice and other supporting documents with the Master. The reporting documents will differ slightly depending on the values of the estate and the type of appointment required. If an estate exceeds R250 000.00 the process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed.

  1. Who will administer the deceased estate?

An executor will be the person responsible for the administration of the deceased estate. An executor is appointed by the Master of the High Court.