In terms of the provisions of Regulations 920 and 921, both advertised in the Regulation Gazette No. 10320 of the Government Gazette No. 38238 dated 24 November 2014, the following has been determined:
- The amount, for purposes of Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, has been increased from R125 000 to R250 000, in respect of estates where the deceased passed away on or after 24 November 2014; and
- The amounts for purposes of sections 18(3), 80 and 90 of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965, has been increased to R250 000.
In view of the confusion regarding the difference in interpretation of the implementation of the abovementioned increased jurisdiction amounts by various Master’s Offices, the Chief Master, in terms of Chief Master’s Directive No 3 of 2014, provided the following guidelines to ensure a uniform approach to the matter raised:
Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965
- Dispense with appointment of executor, if value of estate does not exceed R250 000, (increased from R125 000);
- The new amounts should be applied in matters where the estate has been reported on or after 24 November 2014 and / or;
- If an estate (value above R125, 000, but not exceeding R250, 000) was reported prior to this date, but appointment has not been issued yet. The benefit must be given to public and the matter be dealt with in terms of section 18(3).
- Sec 80(2)(a)
The Master may authorize the alienation of immovable property up to R250, 000 (increased from R100, 000) belonging to a minor or to a person for the administration of whose property a tutor has been appointed;
- Section 80(2(b)
The Master may authorize any mortgage of any such immovable property to an amount not exceeding R250, 000 (increased from R100, 000) in the case of any one such minor or person.
- The new amounts should be applied in matters where the decision in question is made on or after 24 November 2014, irrelevant of the date of application.
Section 90(1) (Guardian’s Fund)
- The Master may, subject to subsection (2) and subject to the terms of any will or written instrument disposing of the money or, in the case of a tutor or curator, by which the tutor or curator has been nominated, pay to the natural guardian or to the tutor or curator, or for and on behalf of the minor or other person concerned, so much of any moneys standing to the credit of the minor or other person in the guardian’s fund as may be immediately required for the maintenance, education or other benefit of the minor or other person or any of his dependents, or for any purpose referred to in subparagraph (1), (ii) or (iv) of paragraph (c) of the proviso to section 82, or for any investment in immovable property within the Republic or in any mortgage over such immovable property on behalf of the minor or other person, approved by the Master. Provided that, subject to the terms of any such will or instrument, the aggregate of the payments made in the case of any minor or other person for purposes of maintenance, education or other benefit shall not, without the sanction of the Court, exceed R250.000 (increased from R100, 000) of the capital amount received for account of the minor or other person concerned.
- The new amounts should be applied in terms where the decision in question is made on or after 24 November 2014, irrelevant of the date of application.
Increased amounts succession and administration of estates – Intestate Succession Act of 1987
- If the deceased is survived by a spouse as well as a descendant the spouse inherits a child’s share of the intestate estate or so much of the intestate estate as does not exceed R250, 000 in value (increased from R125, 000) whichever is the greater.
- This will apply to estates where the deceased passed away on or after 24 November 2014.
In terms of RCR 34 of 2015, the Registrar of Deeds resolved that where a person has died and the whole of the estate does not exceed the amount determined, the Master may dispense with the appointment of the executor. This resolution provides confusion in that Registrars will not have any knowledge of the date on when the estate was reported etc. It is submitted that the appointment of the representative in a section 18(3) estate should not be queried by a Registrar of Deeds, as the full facts are not to his/her avail.
Property Law Specialist