Estate means all the property of which a deceased had power to dispose by will, otherwise than by virtue of a special power of appointment, less the amount of the deceased’s funeral, testamentary and administration expenses and debts and liabilities that are payable out of the deceased’s estate on his or her death.
The following estates must be reported the Master’s Office, namely:
• Estates with wills.
• Estates with a value of more than R125 000.
• Insolvent estates.
• Estates where one or more of the beneficiaries are minors and is not assisted by a legal guardian and the cash assets in the estate is worth more than R20 000.
If the value of the estate exceeds R250 000, letters of executorship must be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed.
However if the value of the estate is less than R250 000, the Master may dispense with letters of executorship, and issue letters of authority in terms of section 18(3) of Administration of Estates Act, 66 of 1965.
From the 5th of December 2002 all Magistrates offices are service points for the Master. These service points will only have jurisdiction in the following instances, namely:
• The deceased did not leave a valid will (died intestate) and;
• The value of the estate (or the best estimate value thereof) is not more than R125 000; and
• The estate is not insolvent (liablities exceed the assests), and
• All the beneficiaries are majors or any one or more of the beneficiaries is a minor and is assisted by his or her legal guardian and the cash assests in the estate is worth R20 000 or less.