The Role of Estate Administration Specialists in South Africa

Estate administration can be a complex and drawn-out process, best handled by experienced estate administration specialists. As part of the process, debtors, beneficiaries and creditors must be established, verified, and benefits due calculated.

Making use of experienced estate administration specialists, such as our firm, can help to prevent delays in the process. The stress associated with the finalisation of the estate and the pain of losing a loved one is already overwhelming. Having an efficient team of estate administration specialists manage the entire process can help to reduce the pressure and stress associated with settling the estate. Our team of estate administration specialists make sure beneficiaries are kept up to date and that effective communication is established with the debtors and creditors. All stakeholders to the particular estate are kept up to date regarding the settling progress.

 Who appoints the executor of the estate?

The Master of the High Court appoints the executor of the deceased estate to manage and settle the liabilities and assets of the particular estate. Once the estate administration process has been completed, the estate is finalised, which entails distribution of benefits to the various beneficiaries. The executor has several responsibilities, including the collection of the assets in the estate, investigation of all debts against the estate, settling such debts after having validated the debts, and dividing the balance of the assets amongst the named and rightful beneficiaries and heirs.

 Why is it important to make use of estate administration specialists?

When a loved one passes away, their will and testament is the final document regarding how they want their assets to be distributed. The estate administration specialists see to it that their wishes are carried out and that all their debt is settled, whilst all monies owed to the estate are collected. With professionals at the steer, the risk of debt claimed against the estate and then paid out to the creditor without proper validation is eliminated. A specific legal process is followed, ensuring the best interests of the rightful heirs are protected.

 What is the timeframe?

It takes about six to ten weeks for the executor to be appointed. The preparatory work for the liquidation and distribution account takes from 6 to 24 weeks, followed by the investigation of the said account by the Master. This can take from 4 to 8 weeks. The inspection of the liquidation and distribution account takes from four to six weeks while the finalisation of estate takes another four to eight weeks. It can thus take from 6 to 13 months for a deceased estate to be finalised.

 Be prepared

Estate planning helps to minimise the risk of delays with the administration of your estate. It also helps to ensure that your heirs receive their inheritance. Many costs are involved in settling a deceased estate and careful planning now can help to minimise loss of benefits due to the costs involved in settling the estate.

Make use of our expertise as estate planning and administration specialists to help avoid delays and unnecessary costs with the settling of your estate to the benefit of your named heirs and beneficiaries.

 Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with us before using/relying on this information. Information is relevant to the date of publishing – January 2018.