Deceased Estates

How to report an estate to the Master or to a Service Point of the Master

HOW TO REPORT A DECEASED ESTATE?
The reporting documents will differ slightly depending on the value
of the estate and the type of appointment required.

If the value of the estate exceeds R250 000, letters of executorship must be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed.

However, if the value of the estate is less than R250 000, the Master of the High Court may dispense with letters of executorship and issue letters of authority in terms of Section 18(3) of the Administration of Estates Act, (Act 66 of 1965).

The Magistrates’ Office service points will only have jurisdiction if the deceased did not leave a valid will and the gross value of the estate is less than R125 000 where there is no PEAS ( Paperless Estates Administration System).

Letters of authority entitle the nominated representative to administer the estate without following the full procedure set out in the Administration of Estates Act.


What documents will be required in the event of the value of the
estate exceeding R250 000?

  • Completed Death Notice (afr or eng) form - J294 (pdf)
  • Original or certified copy of the Death Certificate
  • Original or certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable) or acceptable proof of marriage, as requested by the Master. Marriage certificate/proof of registration of a customary marriage/ minutes of a family meeting where proof of registration of a customary marriage cannot be furnished /proof of religious marriage (Muslim or Hindu)/declaration confirming the existence of a same-sex life partnership (if applicable)
  • A Declaration of Marriage by the Surviving Spouse indicating how the deceased was married
  • All original wills and codicils or documents purporting to be such (if any)
  • Completed Next-of-Kin Affidavit - J192 (if the deceased did not leave a valid will)
  • Completed Inventory form - J243, showing all the assets of the deceased
  • Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of an executor in the case of an intestate estate, or where no executor has been nominated in the will, or the nominated executor has died or declines the appointment.
  • Completed Acceptance of Trust as Executor (eng) forms in duplicate by the person(s) nominated as executor(s) (form J190) plus a certified copy of the photo page of the executors ID document
  • Undertaking and bond of security - J262 (unless the nominated executor has been exempted from providing security in the will, or is the parent, spouse or child of the deceased)
  • If the deceased passed away before 2007: Affidavit by the next-of-kin of a deceased person who has died without leaving a valid will, to the effect that the estate has not already been reported to another Master or service point (if applicable)
  • Note the "Letter of Executorship" must be obtained from the Office of the Master.

Reporting documents where the value of the estate is less than R250 000

  • Completed Death Notice (afr or eng) form - J294
  • Original or certified copy of the Death Certificate
  • Original or certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable) or acceptable proof
    of marriage, as requested by the Master. Marriage certificate/proof of registration of a customary marriage/ minutes of a family meeting where proof of registration of a customary marriage cannot be furnished /proof of religious marriage (Muslim or Hindu)/declaration confirming the existence of a same-sex life partnership (if applicable)
  • A Declaration of of subsisting marriages
  • All original wills and codicils or documents purporting to be such (if any)
  • Completed Next-of-Kin Affidavit  - J192 (if the deceased did not leave a valid will)
  • Completed Inventory (form - J243) showing all the assets of the deceased
  • List of creditors of deceased (if applicable)
  • Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of a Master’s representative in the case of an intestate estate or where no executor
    has been nominated in the will or the nominated executor declines the appointment.
  • If the deceased passed away before 2007: Declaration confirming that the estate has not already been reported to another Master's office or Service Point of the Master.
  • Acceptance of Master’s Directions - J155 (eng), completed and signed by the person as nominated above.
  • Certified copy of the ID of the person to be appointed as Master’s representative.
  • Note the "Letter of Appointment as Master’s Representative " must be obtained from the Office of the Master.

The above-mentioned reporting documents must be posted to, or handed in at the Master's Office.   Faxed reporting documents are not acceptable.

* Update to Master’s fees in deceased estates and curatorships: Administration of Estates Act: Regulations: Amendment(English/Afrikaans) GG 41224, GoN 1161, 3 Nov 2017

PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF A CUSTOMARY UNION OR ALLEDGED SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIP
Proof of marriage or an alleged permanent same-sex life partnership must be lodged in all instances where such relationship is indicated in the death notice; except in instances where the surviving spouse or same-sex life partner is an heir in terms of a valid will. The following documents constitute acceptable proof:

(a) An original or certified copy of the Marriage certificate must be lodged where a civil marriage in terms of the Marriage Act, or a marriage or civil partnership in terms of the Civil Union Act, or a customary marriage duly registered in terms of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act is indicated.

(b) In the case of customary marriages registered after the death of one of the parties, proof of registration issued by the Department of Home Affairs may be accepted as an alternative to a marriage certificate.

(c) Where proof of registration of a customary marriage cannot be lodged, and such proof is required only for purposes of succession, and provided there is no dispute regarding the existence of the customary marriage, a family meeting can be convened by the Master to confirm the existence of the alleged customary marriage.

d) Where the deceased was a husband in more than one customary marriage, any of which was entered into after 15 November 2000, a copy of the contract which regulates the matrimonial property system of the marriages, duly approved by court, in terms of section 7(6) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act must be lodged.

(e) If the deceased was married in terms of religious rites without compliance with the Marriages Act (Muslim and Hindu marriages) proof of the marriage from the Muslim Judicial Council or similar religious body or person who performed such marriage, must be lodged.

(f) Where a permanent same-sex life partnership is alleged in the death notice, and the estate is to devolve intestate, an affidavit (form MBU 19) must be lodged as confirmation of the alleged partnership.

The Service Point of the Master can assist with further advice in this regard. When a certificate of registration cannot be lodged, please contact the Master’s Office further guidance with regards to the available remedies. The abovementioned reporting documents must be posted to, or handed in at the Master’s Office or service point.