A friend of mine in SA has just been through a family member passing and was asked to be executor, he met with the following problems:
- The bottom line is that the Master of the supreme court will not approve the appointment of a “lay person” to the role of executor for any estate valued at R125,000 or more, without an agent.
That is correct. The agent, i.e. the “professional estate administrator” could be an accountant, Attorney or trustee company. Normally a letter is given indicating that the agent will assist the family member or relative with winding up the estate.
- A lay person is anyone who isn’t either a Chartered Accountant or Lawyer.
That is correct.
- No professional agent will take on the role without complete mandate over the estate, (ie they will not act in name alone).
Correct. What McLarens Attorneys do is to take a full power of attorney to act on behalf of he executor and the firm will attend to the winding up of the estate. Once the power has been signed, then we would do all that is necessary.
- Does that mean that we need to appoint a lawyer or accountant as a trustee too?
If there is a Will and it has appointed a Trustee to a Trust, then that appointment would stand. There is no necessity in the Trust to change the appointment of the Trustee or get an agent to assist those trustees. We would have to look at the clauses forming the Trust before we could give final comment.