You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App

NEW SENS search and JSE share prices

More about the app

Does a unit trust fall outside a deceased estate?

Unit trusts form part of the deceased estate and will need to be included in the J243 inventory showing all the assets.

If a retirement annuity, money market and other investments fall outside of an estate, does a unit trust also fall outside an estate? I have a Letter of Authority and I am submitting my claim for my late father to Old Mutual. They are now saying I must go back to the Master and the unit trust must be listed under assets. It took me 4/5 hours sitting at the Master’s office to obtain the letter after six months, can you imagine how long it would take to get an amended letter?

Rick Briers-Danks - Veritas Wealth

A deceased estate comes into being when someone passes away. At death, the estate of the person who has died is frozen. A death should be reported to the Master’s office within 14 days of the person passing away. This means that nobody can withdraw funds from the deceased’s bank account or deal with any of the deceased’s assets without having permission to do so. This permission is granted by the Master of the High Court.

The permission is granted once the Master has been notified of the death and has been supplied with a number of reporting documents. These prescribed documents vary depending on the size of the estate. For estates valued at more than R250 000 ‘letters of executorship’ will be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed by the executor.

Where estates are valued at less than R250 000 a simpler process is applicable and a ‘letter of authority’ is granted. For the letter of authority to be granted a number of reporting documents are needed by the Master.

The main documents needed are:

  • Death notice;
  • Original or certified copy of the death certificate;
  • Original or certified copy of marriage certificate (if applicable);
  • Original will or a next-of-kin affidavit (if the deceased did not leave a valid will);
  • Completed J243 inventory showing all the assets of the deceased;
  • List of creditors of the deceased (if applicable); and
  • Nominations by the heirs for the appointment of a Master’s representative in the case of an intestate estate or where no executor.

Importantly, a completed J243 inventory showing all the assets is needed. The Master, if satisfied that the estate is below the R250 000 threshold and that all the applicable prescribed documents have been received, then issues the letter of authority allowing that person to deal with those listed assets.

Certain assets, namely retirement funds, fall outside an estate and will flow by way of a beneficiary nomination. All other assets will form part of the deceased estate, including fixed property, vehicles, money market accounts, bank accounts, investments including share portfolios and unit trusts.

All of these investments will need to be listed on the J243 inventory schedule of assets presented to the Master in order for the letter of authority to be issued. Old Mutual, like all other providers, will ask to see the inventory form to ensure that the investment is listed on the list of assets the Master has granted authority over.

I am sorry to say that you will need to make a return trip to the Master’s office and get the list of assets updated with all of the relevant assets that fall within your late father’s estate. Only then will the providers accept your letter of authority to act over that listed investment.

I understand that currently there is a big delay at the Master’s office relating to Covid-19, but apparently this backlog is slowly being cleared.

Do you have any questions you would like answered by registered financial planners?



Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.


Unfortunately the recent ransom ware hack attack on the Department of Justice computer system has and will have a big impact on turnaround times.

I doubt very much they were “hacked” in any way, shape, or form.

It’s now their go-to excuse for everything.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said they have also learned that the department had not paid its IT service provider for two months leading up to the attack.

This is the most disgusting industry in the country.

By the way “OLD MUTUAL TRUST” exists in name only. They have no employees and the work is done by Nedbank. In addition “OLD MUTUAL TRUST” is a subsidiary of Nedbank. It is 100% owned by Nedbank. Why?? you might ask?? This is how your “friendly” Old Mutual broker conns you to use “them” (read Nedbank) when you might be at a different bank. Say you were at ABSA and never had any dealings with Nedbank would you have gone to Nedbank or to your own bank?? Admittedly they are just as useless.

This is blatant fraud and nobody does anything about it. They are stealing BILLIONS from people that wont complain as they are diseased. This shows how disgusting and undignified this lot is.

They treat estate late accounts as though its open to anyone to make withdrawals from without the authorized Executor even being in their employ. It has resigned and left the country!!

Be careful these are white-collar thieves that seem to try and employ the most useless people in the market. The more useless the better. The reason is they wont ask questions. Many if not the majority of Nedbank personnel doing estates have run away. Cant get hold of anybody there. For months at a time.

You will not find a more disgusting, unprincipled lot of people together. I guess that says a lot as to culture of the whole bunch. Right from the top.

Stay clear!!!!!

End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: