Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the administration of the estate take?

There are a lot of factors involved in handling the administration of an estate, including document availability, 3rd party involvement, etc. Below is a guideline of how long it can take:

  • Notice of estate and appointment of Executor – 1 to 10 weeks
  • Preparatory work for compilation of liquidation and distribution account – 6 to 24 weeks
  • Investigation of liquidation and distribution account by the Master of the High Court – 2 to 8 weeks
  • Liquidation and distribution account for inspection – 4 weeks
  • Finalisation of the estate (after inspection period and no objections lodged – 4 to 8 weeks
  • Total time (of an average estate): 6 to 13 months

By entrusting the administration of your loved one’s estate to J. Bredenkamp Inc., we can avoid any delays and speed up the process, leaving you with the time you need to mourn the loss of your beloved.

What types of marital regimes are there in South African law?

There are basically 3 marriage regimes available in South African Law:

  • In community of property
  • Out of community of property, with accrual
  • Out of community of property, without accrual

What is my estate?

Your estate consists of all your assets (property, cash, shares, investments, motor vehicles etc.) and all your liabilities (debt).

How long will it take to finalise my estate?

This question does not have an actual answer but rather a guide to the time frame. On average it will take 7 to 18 months to finalise the estate however, there are exceptions

Will I pay death taxes?

The correct term for this is estate duty. Estate duty is only levied on estates valued at R 3 500 000 and more. There are also exceptions to paying estate duty. Our estate administrators can discuss this with you or your family in detail

What is the executor's fee?

The correct term for this is estate duty. Estate duty is only levied on estates valued at R 3 500 000 and more. There are also exceptions to paying estate duty. Our estate administrators can discuss this with you or your family in detail

Are executor's fee negotiable?

When an executor is needed, the family may discuss this with the appointed executor directly. Executor’s fees are negotiable at his / her discretion however, the law does provide for the executor to charge the 3.5% of the estate value.

What happens if there is no cash in an estate and only a car and house?

When this happens then there is a cash shortfall in the estate. This does not mean the estate is insolvent. What the executor will request from the heir is to either pay in the cash shortfall or request permission to sell the asset/s to obtain the cash in the estate.

Can I draft my own will?

You can draft your own will however this could be dangerous in the sense that you may not include important clauses in your will. If this is not done properly you might also be at risk of the will not being accepted by the Master which will mean that you die without a will.

What does testate and instate mean?

Testate means you had a valid will. Intestate means you died without leaving a valid will or did not have a will.

Who do i nominate as executor in my will?

You can nominate any person however the law states that even if you nominate a person it may be that they will still need the assistance of an Attorney, Auditor or trust company to assist with the formalities.

How are transfer fees calculated?

Transfer fees are based on the value of the property. These fees are determined by the Law Society. The Law Society provides the fees to the transferring and bond attorneys as a guideline. The disbursements, however, are at the discretion of the attorneys and these may vary from attorney to attorney.

What are transfer duty and transfer fees?

Clients often get confused that when they hear transfer duty, transfer fees and what they are liable for. Transfer duty is the amount paid to SARS on property that the buyer buys. Currently properties below R900 000 are exempt from transfer duty however transfer fees are always payable on any amount as this is the fee for the attorney to attend to the transfer

Why do I pay SARS and transfer costs if I already own part of the property?

Whether or not you own 10%, 50% or 80% of a property, you still pay transfer costs when you acquire the percentage of the property you did not own. There is still an actual transfer that takes place. Transfer duty is payable on the value of the property minus the amount (percentage) you already own and this is calculated by SARS and based on the market valuation of the property.

How long will it take to transfer the property?

This is a question without a definite answer. The standard time is from 6-8 weeks however there may be different factors that can make this time frame longer or even shorter

Do I get my refund from the municiparlity immediately?

The municipality’s system takes anything from 6 weeks and more to update from the deeds office and show a change in ownership. In this time, as a seller,  you won’t be able to close your account or, as a buyer, open a new account. After the 6 weeks both seller and buyer can attend the offices of the municipality to open and close their account. The municipality will request the seller to provide an instruction letter from the transferring attorneys to process the refund. There is no time frame in which the municipality operates to attend to the refund and this can take any amount of time.

Why do SARS request 2 estate agent valuations?

SARS use these estate agent valuations to estimate the market price of the property and this amount is used to calculate the amount of transfer duty if applicable.

When would I want to move out the property?

You will work according to the offer to purchase you signed however most offers will say on registration. When the property registers, then it is up to the buyer and seller to negotiate with the agent a time convenient for both parties to either vacate or occupy.

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