Master of the High Court: Deceased Estates

HOW TO REPORT AN ESTATE TO THE MASTER OR TO A SERVICE POINT OF THE MASTER

The reporting documents will differ slightly depending on the value of the estate and the type of appointment required.

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 R100 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)
  • Completed Next-of-Kin Affidavit - J192 (if the deceased did not leave a valid will)
  • A Declaration of Marriage by the Surviving Spouse indicating how the deceased was married
  • Completed Inventory form - J243, showing all the assets of the deceased
  • Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of an executor in the case of an intestate estate or where no executor has been nominated in the will, or the nominated executor declines the appointment.
  • Completed Acceptance of Trust as Executor (afr or eng) forms - J190 in duplicate by the person(s) nominated as executor(s)
  • Undertaking and bond of security - J262 (unless the nominated executor has been exempted from furnishing security in the will, or is the parent, spouse or child of the deceased)
  • Certified copy of the ID of the person to be appointed as Executor.
  • Note the "Letter of Executorship" must be obtained from the Office of the Master.

Reporting documents where the value of the estate is less than R250 000

  • Completed Death Notice (afr or eng) form - J294
  • Original or certified copy of the Death Certificate
  • Original or certified copy of Marriage Certificate/s (if applicable)
  • All original wills and codicils or documents purporting to be such (if any)
  • Completed Next-of-Kin Affidavit  - J192 (if the deceased did not leave a valid will)
  • Completed Inventory (form - J243) showing all the assets of the deceased
  • A Declaration of Marriage by the Surviving Spouse indicating how the deceased was married
  • List of creditors of deceased (if applicable)
  • 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.
  • Declaration confirming that the estate has not already been reported to another Master's office or Service Point of the Master.
  • Acceptance of Masterís Directions - J155 (eng), completed and signed by the person as nominated above.
  • Certified copy of the ID of the person to be appointed as Masterís representative.
  • Note the "Letter of Appointment as Masterís Representative " must be obtained from the Office of the Master.

The above-mentioned reporting documents must be posted to, or handed in at the Master's Office.   Faxed reporting documents are not acceptable.

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