Nobody likes to think about the fact that they will one day die. It is a horrible visual but what about those who are left behind? This article will discuss the duties of the executor and how they help those through that process.


During your life you acquire assets for example houses, cars, shares, etc. and you also acquire liabilities such as loans, debts, etc. These assets and liabilities form part of your estate, and when you die this estate needs to be administered, divided and distributed. These processes are all done by one person in control of the estate known as the executor.


The executor’s first step would be to meet the family and gather as much information and missing documents that they don’t have and reconcile the deceased’s will in which the executor in Testate Succession will be nominated.


The second step is that the estate must be reported to the Master of the High Court’s office in which the deceased lived. http://www.justice.gov.za/master/contacts.htm.


The executor must then place a notice to the creditors informing them of the deceased’s death. This notice will be placed in the Government Gazette and the local newspaper in the area the deceased had lived. This gives creditors the opportunity to institute claims within 30 days after the notice was published.


The executor will then close all of the current bank accounts open at the time of the deceased’s death. He/she will then open up a separate account strictly used for the administration of the estate.


The drafting of accounts must be done and advertised in the same manner as the notice to creditors which is then lodged for approval at the Master of the High Court where the death was reported.


After the accounts have been approved by the master, the executor will pay all the creditors and distribute what’s left of the estate to the beneficiaries accordingly.


The Master of the High Court can help the family of the deceased on the process, however, it is usually advisable that a qualified attorney and/or deceased estate paralegal helps the family. One can approach Pro Bono.org where they will be helped for free.


It is not advisable that a family member is left as the executor of an estate of their loved one. This is burdensome especially if it is not your area of expertise. Contact us and we will help you today. Call us on 031 003 0630 or email us at Charmaine@schwenninc.co.za.

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