What are the factors that cause delays in the administration of an estate and how can the process be expedited?


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The average time it takes to wind up an estate is 6 months, but in extreme cases it may even take years to finalize.

Factors that can cause delays:

  • The absence of a valid will.
  • The pressure of work overload experienced bylocal authorities which lead to delays in the issuing of municipal clearance figures.
  • Outstanding tax returns.
  • When title deeds are missing and duplicates must be requested.
  • Cash shortfalls and the associated or subsequent sale of estate assets.
  • Unnatural deaths, which mean waiting for post-mortem reports from the police.
  • The redistribution of assets.
  • The transfer of firearms.
  • The acquisition of balance sheets.
  • The acquisition of a valuation of shares for estate duty purposes.
  • Pending Court Cases.
  • Maintenance Claims.
  • Divorce orders that have not been adhered to.
  • The tracing of heirs.
  • Complicated business interests for which no proper estate planning had been done.
  • Having to transfer funds to heirs who now live abroad and no longer have South African bank accounts.
  • The illegal occupation of residential properties and associated eviction orders.

Expedite the process by doing the following:

  • Conduct proper estate planning and ensure you have a valid will.
  • Provide correct and complete information from the outset.
  • Take out insurance policies to prevent cash shortages in your estate.
  • Ensure that your will is valid and enforceable.
  • Keep all important documents, such as insurance policies, investment documents, title deeds and bank statements in a safe place.
  • Ensure that your original will is kept in safe keeping.

For any further information or assistance, contact our highly skilled Estates staff at 044 601 9900 or office@rgprok.co.za.  Get your online Will on our Will Page.