Archiver > SOUTH-AFRICA > 2010-03 > 1269680346

From: "Paxie Kelsey" <>
Subject: [SOUTH-AFRICA] Deceased beneficiaries
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 11:02:39 +0200
References: <><><00f901cacc10$089a8d90$6301a8c0@broekmann><>

Hi Andrew,
Three questions.
What happens to the funds should all beneficiaries be deceased?
Who gets the assets?
Is the Estate liquidated first?

I know there is a site in the US where you can search to see if you are a long lost beneficiary and those funds appear to have just lain there for years. This was one among them

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Rodger
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 5:33 AM
Subject: Re: [SOUTH-AFRICA] Am I confused or without the required knowledge?

On 25 Mar 2010, at 10:40 PM, Steve Broekmann wrote:

> Andrew Rodger asked Stella: But are you sure their estates
> would be in Cape Town? If they died or left estate in another
> Provincial Court's jurisdiction, their estates would be recorded in the
> relevant Province's Archives Repository. (Provided, as pointed out by
> another, it was of sufficient value, which used to be three hundred
> pounds when I was doing estate work around 1960.)
> The position is that the Master that has jurisdiction in respect of an
> estate is the Master whose area of responsibility covers the ordinary
> place
> of residence of the deceased at date of death. The estate can be moved
> elsewhere for particular reasons but that is very unusual and in
> practice
> the initial Master's office would need to give consent and should
> retain a
> record of having relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Master's
> off ice
> to which the estate is then assigned.
> The £300 limit has now risen to R125 000 but the estate of any person
> owning
> any property at all is supposed to be reported. The financial limit
> determines whether a Liquidation and Distribution Account has to be
> drawn
> and advertised. Estates of less than (currently) R125 000 in gross
> value
> can be wound up simply under directions from the Master - but there is
> still
> a file opened.

Thank you, that brings me up to date with the current situation. (I
last practised in this jurisdiction around mid-1961!)

I knew that the threshold limit for full formal liquidation had been
raised from the three hundred pounds that applied back then, but was
not aware of there being some form of less thorough supervision of
lesser estates.

Back then, I worked for the Standard Bank, and we never accepted the
trust in really small estates because, with a fixed ad-valorem scale of
fees, it simply wasn't worthwhile for us. I only ever did one really
small estate, and that was because I had to do it to complete an estate
which was itself marginal at best, and brought us no profit. This was
of a bachelor retired teacher who left an estate, and appointed us in
his will, but made no dispositions, which meant that the laws of
intestacy governed the disposition of his net estate; his only
surviving relative was a cousin who was a jobbing carpenter in up-State
New York, and we duly wrote to ask him to present himself personally or
through his local bank to claim the inheritance from our New York
agent. He wrote a very funny letter back saying he had been a member
of his Union "local" for forty-five years and what did we mean by
saying he must identify himself? We replied explaining the need for
the bank to be satisfied it was paying the right party, but that letter
bounced -- he was dead! So we then had to do the SA portion of his
estate, simply in order to get a voucher for the disbursement of the
first estate and so square off the account for the Master's Office.

What is not quite clear from Steve's reply is whether the Death Notice
remains the same apart from the question of the value, and whether the
administration under the direction of the Master extends to the
lodgment of the Will, and preparation and vouching of full formal
accounts. The Death Notice in its traditional form can be of immense
value to genies, especially if completed by a member of the family with
the requisite knowledge, but the Will can be helpful too in
establishing how the deceased related to various members of the family,
and the estate accounts in giving a picture of the deceased's
circumstances at the time of death. What else besides the Death Notice
would appear in the file of a below-threshold estate?

Andrew Rodger

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