Wills and Estates: Estate Administration Information

The admin for an estate can get quite difficult to manage. Although here we give a few guidelines to what you should do. First, the Executor will place a formal notice in the Government Gazette and the local newspaper. He will then request creditors of the estate to submit their entitlements and debtors to inform him of claims in favour of the estate. Continue reading to find out more about estate administration.

How long the advertisement run for – Estate Administration

The advertisement should run for 30 days. Although this is not applicable to section 18(3) estates. The Executor will obtain estimates of the assets of the estate and balance certificates. This can include cash, insurance policies and other investments as well as proof from creditors. Once they receive the above, the Executor will establish the solvency of the state. This will initiate the process of liquidation and distribution of the will, regarding the law of intestate succession.

A statement of insolvency – Estate Administration

Estate AdministrationA statement that recognised the insolvency and delivery account, showing the assets and liabilities of the estate as well as the dispersal of the net balance to the beneficiaries. The master will have to approve of the insolvency and dispersal account. After the Executor will authorise that they can advertise it to the public. They will only allow this for the duration of 21 days. Someone has to formally object within this period. Or else the Master will sanction the Executor to continue to distribute the estate within 60 days.

What happens during that period – Estate Administration

It is also the duty of the Executor to ensure that they formally transfer the assets to the beneficiaries. This process only takes place if no written objections are received within this period about the liquidation and distribution account. At this stage the estate is provisionally distrusted and, where applicable, an amount reserved to provide for the following:

  • The South African Revenue Services final income tax assessment, which may delay the administration process
  • Interest on interest-bearing claims
  • Final medical fund statements
  • Property tax


The Executor then initiates the management process – Estate Administration

The estate administration process must comply with certain administrative formalities and legal requirements. To assist you in understanding this process, the most important aspects are covered below. (N.B: Estates with an asset value of R125 000 or less are managed under section 18(3) of the Administration of Estates Act, and some of the legal requirements do not apply to such estates.) The first step is the choice of an Executor by the Master of the Supreme Court.

The Executor must submit the following documents to the Master of the Supreme Court:

  • A passing notification.
  • A provisional account of the deceased’s assets.
  • A Recognition of Executorship.
  • The original will, if any.
  • A certified copy of the death certificate.


Once the Master is satisfied with the above documents a nominee of an authorised body or an individual will be appointed as Executor regarding the conditions of the will by way of a Letter of Executorship. The letter authorises the Executor to take responsibility of and administer the assets in the estate. The time taken to obtain such an appointment depends on the Master of the Supreme Court and the nature of the estate.

Fill in and submit the form on this page to get your one free funeral cover quote

All info was correct at time of publishing