Deceased estates are often complex, but even simple estates can take a long time to be finalised. Depending on the size and structure of the estate, deceased estates could take anything from months to several years to finalise,

The shortest possible time could be 150 days, and that is if the executor is experienced in deceased estates and acts immediately, and if The Master and SARS play ball.

For estates exceeding R250,000 the executor would need to attend to the following:

Action Approximate time
Preliminary interview and collection of documentation to be supplied to the Master of the High Court when reporting the death 7 to 21 days
Letters of executorship to be issued by The Master of the High Court 7 to 90 days
Once the letter of executorship is issued, take control of the assets of the deceased – ongoing process Up to 180 days
Code the estate at SARS for tax purposes 14 days
Open an estate bank account 7 days
Closed the bank accounts of the deceased 7 days
Advertise for debtors & creditors – dealing with relevant parties and placing the ads 14 days
The advertising period for debtors and creditors 30 days
Pay creditors – ongoing process up to 180 days
Draft and submit to the Master a liquidation and distribution (L&D) account – once all information and documentation supplied. It is important to know that information may need to be supplied by various parties such as financial institutions, accountants, auditors, etc which could delay the process. 7 to 60 days
Awaiting Master approval of the liquidation and distribution account 14 to 90 days
The inspection period during which the estate account lies open for inspection at the Master’s Office 21 days
Distribute the assets of the deceased in accordance with the provisions and the will and as set out in the L&D account – Once the Master has approved the liquidation and distribution account and all Creditors to be been paid all distributions 30 to 180 days
Submit estate tax returns and obtain tax compliance certificate 80 to 500 days


Feel free to reach out if you need assistance with estate matters

Published On: April 23rd, 2021 / Categories: Estates / Tags: , , /

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