Articles


2018-06-14
ESTATE PLANNING AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF DECEASED ESTATES


The death of a loved one is usually a time of great sadness and uncertainty. It is a time filled with emotions, making many arrangements to pay tribute to the deceased and having to plan for an uncertain future. Very often one of the most important steps is completely omitted or avoided intentionally – the  administration of the person’s estate.

Who the property is passed on to depends on whether the person died having created a valid will. If there is a valid will, then the property will be divided according to the wishes of the testator. If there is no valid will, or the person created a will, but the Master finds that the will is invalid, then the property will be divided amongst the immediate family of the deceased, according to the laws of intestate succession.

The process of administering a deceased estate involves reporting the death to the Master of the High Court, obtaining the Master’s appointment of the representative or executor of the deceased’s estate and performing the necessary duties in order to distribute the estate. These duties include placing the necessary advertisements to alert debtors and creditors of the estate to the death of the deceased, drawing up the liquidation and distribution account and advertising this account, on top of the necessary correspondence with the Master’s office.

At Jooste Heswick Attorneys we can assist you in this time of change and uncertainty by performing all these duties. We have assisted many beneficiaries of people who died intestate (without a valid will) with this process in the past, as well as people appointed as executor in the deceased’s estate where the person had a valid will when they died. We are ideally positioned to assist with any property transfers stemming from the deceased’s death, as we specialise in conveyancing as well.

We are well known for adding value outside of our normal obligations to any matter. Jooste Heswick Inc. is strongly positioned to serve all your legal needs. Kindly contact our offices to arrange a consultation