During one’s lifetime we accumulate assets, such as fixed property, personal and household effects, investments (local and foreign), insurance, a motor vehicle and perhaps even shares of a stock exchange, to name a few. Frequently a person will also accumulate liabilities, such as a home or motor vehicle loan and in instances where there are not liabilities, there is sure to be deathbed expenses.

These assets liabilities and deathbed expenses form part of a person’s deceased estate. This will necessitate estate must be administered by a capable and reputable executor, such as Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs).

The estate must be administered and distributed in terms of the deceased's Will, or failing a valid Will, in terms of the Intestate Succession Act, 81 of 1987. The procedure that must be followed, is prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act, 66 of 1965 (as amended).

Every deceased estate must be reported to the Master of the High Court within 14 days of the date of death. Any person that has control or possession of any property or a Will of the deceased, can report the death by lodging a completed death notice with the Master. An executor of the estate is normally nominated in the Will to do this as well as carry out the directives you set out in your Will. The Master of the High Court has offices in all major cities in South Africa.

The best way to ensure that after your death your assets are distributed according to your wishes and instructions is to draw up a Will. This gives you the opportunity to appoint BEXs to distribute your assets.