Don’t Burden Spouse with Executorship We
are often confronted with the situation where a husband wants to
nominate his wife as the only executor in his will.

This is not necessarily wrong, but the burden placed on the emotional
wife is tremendous. The administration of a deceased estate is a very
complicated and time-consuming task that can take months or sometimes
years to finalise without the proper knowledge and skills.

Pieter Willem MoolmanTo illustrate this
point, I’ll give a brief summary of the steps that the executor needs
to follow to properly wind up an estate.

The first step in the process will be to report the estate to the
Master of the High Court. In order for a unique estate number to be
allocated to the specific estate, certain documents must be handed in
with the reporting.

These include the original will, copies of the ID documents of the
parties involved, a copy of the death certificate, an inventory of
assets of the deceased, an acceptance of executor as well as a death

Once the Master has issued a letter of executorship, the executor
should place a notice (advertisement) in the Government Gazette as well
as in a local newspaper advising creditors to prove their claims
against the estate within a certain period of time.

In terms of Section 28 of the Estates Act, the executor must also open
a bank account in the name of the deceased estate wherein all proceeds
can be deposited.

After all the necessary information has been obtained regarding the
assets and liabilities, valuations of assets must be made by a
registered valuer as well as balance certificates obtained. This
information is needed to transfer assets into the names of heirs as
well as to draft the Liquidation and Distribution Account.

This account, which contains all transactions taking place during the
administration of the estate, must be submitted to the Master of the
High Court. The latter will scrutinise this account on submission and
only when he/she is satisfied with the content, will it be deemed

The above account must lie at the Master’s office for 21 days and then
be advertised again. Once this period has expired and no parties
complained, the executor is able to facilitate the distribution and
transferring of assets.

This being the process in a nutshell, the advisable and responsible
thing to do would be to lighten your spouse’s burden by appointing an
executor with knowledge of the above process.

to have
your financial
and other investment questions

answered courtesy of Coetzee Gouws from Full
Stop Communications

Pieter Willem Moolman is the founder of PWM Financial Management in Port
Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Their mission is to provide financial
security and create wealth for their clients.

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