How to report a deceased estate at the Master’s office!

how to report a deceased estate at the master's office

When a deceased dies and has a will or property in South Africa, you should report the deceased’s estate at the Master’s office.

When should you report the estate?

You must report the estate of the deceased within 14 days of the date of death.

Who should report the estate?

One of the following people should report the deceased estate at the Master’s office:

  • the surviving spouse,
  • the nearest relative of the deceased, or
  • any person in possession of either the will or property of the deceased.

What information or documents do you require?

You will require the following information and copies of the following documents to report the deceased estate:

  • The death certificate;
  • The original will (if any);
  • The identity document of the deceased;
  • The identity document of the executor/representative appointed to administer the estate;
  • The ante-nuptial agreement (if the deceased was married out of community of property). You can verify the marital status of the deceased at the time of death on the death certificate;
  • The decree of divorce (if the deceased was divorced at the time of death);
  • Vouchers of the assets.

Which documents must you submit at the Master’s office?

You will need to duly complete the following forms and submit them at the Master’s office before the Master will issue a letter of executorship/letter of authority:

  • The death certificate (original or a certified copy);
  • Death Notice;
  • Certified copy of the deceased’s identity document;
  • Certified copy of the marriage certificate/decree of divorce (if applicable)
  • The original will (if any);
  • If the deceased did not have a will, the Nomination by the heirs of the executor/representative;
  • Inventory
  • Acceptance of trust as executor or Undertaking and acceptances of Master’s directions if the total estate value is less than R250 000-00 (in duplicate);
  • Certified copy of the identity document of the executor/representative
  • List of creditors (if total value of estate less than R250 000-00 and the deceased did not leave a will);
  • Declaration on the marital status of the deceased at the time of death;
  • Affidavit that you did not report the estate at any other Master’s office as well;
  • Vouchers confirming the value of the assets (if the total value of the estate is less than R250 000-00).

Please note some Master office’s, may require you to submit additional documents.

At which Master’s office must you report the estate of the deceased?

You must submit the reporting documents at the office of the Master of the High Court in the area of jurisdiction where the deceased was ordinarily resident 12 months before his death.

If you need assistance to submit the documents, or want help to complete a document, or wish to instruct us to administer the deceased estate on your behalf, please register as a client, and complete the relevant questionnaires.  You can then download and print the duly completed documents.

As always: we do not give legal advice on our blog.  Every case is different.  What applies to one instance does not necessarily apply to you.  The slightest change of facts may make a world of difference.  The information contained on our website is for general purposes only.  We do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damages, direct or consequential, that may result because you relied on anything contained on these pages.  It is your responsibility to obtain legal advice on your matter before use the information contained in this blog.

You can contact us for advice on your specific matter.