Letter of Executorship
Okay, so you have reported the estate to the Master of the High Court. Now what? The second step in the process is a simple waiting game. Once the Master is satisfied with the contents of the documentation that was submitted, a letter of executorship will be issued. The appointed executor/agent in the estate can’t really do anything without this letter. Think of it as your boarding pass – without it, you will not be able to continue with anything whatsoever. In the meantime, while waiting for the letter of executorship, the executor/agent can use the time to gather information to create a unique database and work station for every estate. This makes it easier to keep track of everything and provides you with the perfect tool for sending out progress reports to all the heirs. Estate administration is and will always be a lengthy process, but it doesn’t mean that the heirs and all parties involved have to be left out in the cold during the process. Monthly progress reports and updates are standard practice for most legal firms.
As soon as the letter of executorship has been issued, the executor/agent can open a bank account for the estate. This account will mainly be used for the following transactions:
- Transfers from the deceased’s personal bank accounts to the estate’s bank account.
- Redemption of all cash investments to the estate’s bank account.
- Policy pay-outs that were bequeathed to the estate.
- Dividends earned from shares.
- Income generated from the sale of assets in the estate.
The letter of executorship contains the following important information:
- Estate number.
- Name of the estate.
- Full names, surname and ID number of the deceased.
- Full names, surname and ID number of the executor.
- Full names, surname and ID number of the deceased’s spouse in case of marriages in community of property.
From the above it is evident that a letter of executorship is an absolute must before anything can take place.
This concludes our second step in the estate administration process. If you are still unsure about the documentation that needs to be submitted to the Master to acquire the letter of executorship, please feel free to visit the Department of Justice’s website for a more detailed explanation at www.justice.gov.za.
Step 1: Reporting the Estate
Time scale: 4–8 weeks
Step 2: Letter of Executorship
Time scale: 4–6 weeks
Our fiduciary team at BVSA Konsult has decades of experience in estate administration and is professionally equipped to assist you with any matters related to or in connection therewith.
Please contact one of our expert advisors for further information.
The above-mentioned is for information purposes only and is in no way advice. BVSA Consult Pty Ltd. encourages readers to get in touch with an expert financial advisor before making any decisions.
Article written by Reghardt Draper