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DECEASED ESTATES

The death of a loved one can often be highly traumatic and confusing. There may be a number of unanswered questions and challenges relating to how best to fairly distribute the assets of the deceased. In the instance that a clear and legally valid last will and testament was not left behind, the process of winding up the deceased’s estate can become even more complex. The loved one may have also left behind debt which will need to be settled before the distribution of any assets can take place.

TLT Attorneys not only deals with deceased estates, but also specialises in Insolvent deceased estates. Having many years of experience in deceased estates of this nature, we can offer you our skills and expertise in the winding up the estate and managing the administration process for you.

We wish to highlight the fact that our services extend to those deceased estates that may involve customary and cultural law. We are able to offer appropriate guidance and support in these areas too.

Why would you need an attorney?

Administration of deceased estates requires a technical process to be followed and therefore in most instances it is a difficult process that requires specific processes to be followed. For this reason, most people will choose the services of a qualified attorney.

What would the appointment of such an attorney cost?

  1. In terms of a section 18(3) estate (Estates with a value of under R250 000), we have a R12 500 BASIC FEE plus R1 200 for the Master’s Courier. This includes winding up the estate from start to finish, communication to and from the relevant Master’s office, courier fees and postage and petties. Should there be a property in this estate, the transfer fees will be calculated separately.
  2. In terms of any other estate valued at more than R250 000, the fees are calculated according to the Administration of Estates Act at 3.5% of the total asset value therein. The following fees also being considered as mandatory:
  • Two adverts in terms of Section 29 and Section 35 of the Administration of Estates Act at R370 each
  • Postage and petties fee of R260
  • Bank charges to the amount of R150
  • Master’s office fees to the maximum sum of R600
  • Master’s Courier fees of approximately R2 500 – depending on the complexity of the estate
  • VAT on Executor’s fees
  • Fees are an estimate and may vary

What does the process involve?

We work with the family of the deceased and take over the role of the executor of the estate. In doing so, we will assist with the following matters:

  1. Communicating with all heirs to ensure that it is done professionally and without bias
  2. The proper winding up and distribution of the deceased’s estate requires in-depth legal knowledge of the processes
  3. The process requires communication with the relevant courts and drafting legal documents
  4. Dealing with debtors and creditors
  5. Facilitating the selling of assets, as required
  6. Acquisition of authoritative documents which seek to appoint an executor to administer the estate requires an attorney
  7. Advertisements in newspapers as required by law
  8. Securing and setting up trusts for minors where assets have been left for their future well-being

Furthermore, in the instance that the transfer or sale of a property owned by the deceased is needed, our conveyancing department has the skill and experience to effectively complete these transactions.