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Deceased Estate process

Deceased Estate Process

How does the Process of winding-up & administering a deceased estate work?

NGL Attorneys are estate planning and administration of deceased estates specialist based in Alberton, Sandton, Vanderbijlpark and Benoni. We are able to advise clients on the appropriate measures to take that will ensure the continued financial security of dependants and other family members after death. You might have some questions about how the winding up of a deceased estate is administered. How does this process work?

The nominated executor or family of the deceased are to attend to the following:
  • Obtain the original Death Certificate;
  • If the deceased has left a Will, obtain the original last Will and Testament
  • Obtain copies of all relevant deceased estate papers and documents (i.e. bank statements, account statements, title deeds, life assurance policies, etc.). Ensure that they are in order.
NGL Attorneys will arrange an initial consultation with the nominated executor and/or family of the deceased in order to obtain the relevant and required documents and relevant information that will be required to report the estate and apply for appointment of the Executor. The following documents (inter alia) are prepared to report the deceased estate to the Master of the High Court: 
  • Death Notice
  • Acceptance of Trust as Executor
  • Next of Kin Affidavit (if applicable)
After the above-mentioned documents have been submitted, the Master will formally appoint the Executor and grant him or her the necessary powers to administer the estate, in terms of a Letter of Executorship.
As soon as the Letter of Executorship has been issued by the Master, a Notice to Creditors must be published in the Government Gazette and a local paper where the deceased was ordinarily resident at the time of his death.
NGL Attorneys will prepare the Liquidation and Distribution Account, which provides details of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
Once the information in the draft Liquidation & Distribution Account has been confirmed by the Executor, NGL Attorneys file the First and Final Liquidation & Distribution account to the Master for consent, and publish a Notice of Inspection in the Government Gazette and a local paper where the deceased was ordinarily resident at the time of his death. The First and Final Liquidation & Distribution Account lies for inspection, at the Magistrate Court, for a period of 21 days, and any possible objections are lodged with Master.
During the period of inspection, NGL Attorneys will attend to payment of the Master’s Fee and submit the Estate Duty Return to SARS
Upon expiration of the 21-day inspection period, without any objections, and after the Master has accepted the Liquidation & Distribution account then NGL Attorneys will attend to distribution of the estate in terms of the First and Final Liquidation & Distribution Account, which includes:
  • Distribution of assets and transfer of immovable property.
  • Payment to heirs; and
  • Payment of creditors;
After the completion of the distribution process, NGL Attorneys needs to provide the Master with proof that the assets have been distributed and all creditors have been paid. If the Master is satisfied, a filing slip will be issued, the estate will be deemed to be finalised and the duties of the Executor are discharged.