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


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.