Where must deceased estates be reported?

Wherever the deceased was living in the Republic of South Africa, the estate should be reported to the Master of the High Court in that jurisdiction. In other words if the deceased was living in that area for 12 months prior to his/her death, then the Master’s office overseeing estates in that region should open an estate file.

If the deceased was not living in the Republic of South Africa at the time of his/her death, the estate may be reported to any Master of the High Court, provided it is reported to only one Master and not two or three as this will create unnecessary duplication of files. If this is the case, you will need to file an affidavit (in addition to the normal documents which SRM can advise you on) stating that letters of executorship have not already been granted by any other Master of the High Court in the Republic of South Africa.

Magistrates’ Offices are also designated service points for the Master of the High Court and estates can be reported there too. However, these service points have limited jurisdiction. This means that if an estates have a value which exceeds R125 000 (now R250 000) in value, they should rather be reported to the provincial Master’s Office.

Who should report a deceased estate?

Deaths should be reported by any person having control or possession of any property or documents that is or intends to be a will of the deceased.so family member, spouse, son, child, adopted child, sibling, or a close friend where no family exists.

So what documents are required to report an estate?

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