Most conversations that start with questions about which of the children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren will stand to inherit from grandpa usually end very abruptly with the following harsh words: "You're only going to inherit debt!" Benjamin Franklin, a former US President, once said: "Nothing in life is certain, except death (and the payment of debt) and taxes." Unfortunately, this is a sad but true reality for most of us. Although we may be physically separated from the world on the day of our passing, we are unfortunately not relieved of our debt obligations.
The appointed executor/authorised agent in the estate is obligated to publish the following information in the Government Gazette and local newspaper:
In these advertisements the deceased's debtors and creditors are requested to, within 30 (thirty) days of the notification, settle their debts or, in the case of creditors, submit their claims against the estate. If there are no debtors or creditors to settle any debt or file any claims against the estate within the timeframe, the executor/agent can proceed with the estate administration process.
The advertisements in the Government Gazette and local newspaper usually goes hand in hand with the opening of an estate account. All assets in the estate sold by order of the heirs must be paid into the estate account. There are some exceptions to this rule, but we are not going to discuss this in depth now. During the estate administration process, all income and expenses in the estate must be recorded continuously. This can be done with the help of a cash book. At the end of the process, it is common practice for the executor/agent to provide the heirs with a cash reconciliation statement showing the movement of all debits and credits in the estate account.
This concludes the third step in the estate administration process.
Just to refresh your memory, here is a schematic illustration of where we currently are in the process:
Time scale: 4–8 weeks
Time scale: 4–6 weeks
Time scale: 4 weeks
Note: Record keeping of estate finances is analogous to the time it takes for the estate to be administered.
Our fiduciary team at BVSA Konsult has decades of experience in estate administration and is professionally equipped to assist you with any matters related to or in connection therewith.
Please contact one of our expert advisors for further information.
The above-mentioned is for information purposes only and is in no way advice. Boshoff Visser Konsult (Pty) Ltd. encourages readers to get in touch with an expert financial advisor before making any decisions.