The first step is to register the estate with the Master of the High Court and to obtain as much as possible information on the deceased’s assets and liabilities. The estate can either be directed by manner of the deceased’s Last Will and Testament, and in the absence of same, the Interstate Succession Act.
If the value of the estate exceeds R250 000, letters of Executorship (LOE) must be issued by the Master and the full process prescribed by the Act must be followed.
If the value of the estate is less than R250 000, the Master may instead of a LOE, issue letters of authority (LOA) in terms of section 18(3) of Administration of Estates Act meaning the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act (the Act)will not have to be followed.
The appointed Executor is the accountable person in the administration process, and often the decease entrusted a spouse, child, friend or family member to oversee this mammoth task. Should the administration process not be done correctly and not comply with the provisions of the Will and the Act, the executor could be held personally liable.