How to report an estate to the Master or to a Service Point of the Master
WHAT IS A DECEASED ESTATE?
A deceased estate comes into existence when a person dies leaving assets or a document which is a will or purports to be a will.
HOW TO REPORT A DECEASED ESTATE?
Within 14 days of a testator’s death, all estates, where there are assets or a will must be reported to the Master of the High Court in the area where the testator resided. All wills, or document purporting to be wills, whether they are valid or not, must be lodged as well.
The reporting documents will differ slightly depending on the value of the estate and the type of appointment required.
AREA OF JURISDICTION
In respect of the area of jurisdiction of each High Court, there is a Master of the High Court. The Master’s Deceased Estate and Guardians Fund services can also be accessed at Magistrates Offices who serves as Service Points of these Master’s Offices.
However, at magistrates courts, where the new Paperless Estate Administration System (PEAS) system has not been rolled out, the jurisdiction of these Service Points are limited to deceased estates worth R150 000 or less. At Magistrate Courts where PEAS has been rolled out, the jurisdiction is limited to deceased estates worth R250 000 or less.”
VALUE OF ESTATES
If the value of the estate exceeds R250 000, letters of executorship must be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed.
However if the value of the estate is less than R250 000, the Master may dispense with letters of executorship, and issue letters of authority in terms of section 18(3) of Administration of Estates Act, 66 of 1965. From the 5th of December 2002 all Magistrates offices are service points for the Master. These service points will only have jurisdiction in the following instances, namely:
The deceased did not leave a valid will (died intestate) and;
The value of the estate (or the best estimate value thereof) is not more than R125 000; and
The estate is not insolvent (liablities exceed the assests), and
All the beneficiaries are majors or any one or more of the beneficiaries is a minor and is assisted by his or her legal guardian and the cash assests in the estate is worth R20 000 or less.
Letters of authority entitles the nominated representative to administer the estate without following the full procedure set out in the Administration of Estates Act.
Reporting documents where the value of the estate exceeds R250 000
Completed Death Notice (afr or eng) form - J294 (pdf)
Original or certified copy of the Death Certificate
Original or certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
All original wills and codicils or documents purporting to be such (if any)
Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of a Master's Representative in the case of an intestate estate or where no executor has been nominated in the will, or the nominated executor declines the appointment.