Deceased estate are often complex, but even simple estates can take a long time to be finalised. Depending on the size and structure of the estate, deceased estates could take anything from months to several years to finalise,
The shortest possible time could be a 150 days, and that is if the executor is experienced in deceased estates and acts immediately, and if The Master and SARS play ball.
For estates exceeding R250,000 the executor would need to attend to the following:
- Apply for letters of executorship to be issued by The Master of the High Court
- Once the letter of executorship is issued, take control of the assets of the deceased
- Closed the bank accounts of the deceased
- Advertise for debtors & creditors
- Pay creditors
- Draft and submit to the Master a liquidation and distribution (L&D) account
- Distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with the provisions and the will and as set out in the L&D account.
The Administration of Estates Act 1965 prescribes certain processes which carry compulsory time periods. These include:
- The advertising period for debtors and creditors – 30 days
- The inspection period during which the estate account lies open for inspection at the Master’s Office – 21 days
When advertising the advertisements must appear in both the local newspaper and the Government Gazette on the same day.
For the full article by Louis van Vuuren, read “A deceased estate can take a long time to be finalised”