Establish Who the Executor of the Estate is
If the deceased had a will, they may have nominated an individual or a financial institution to perform the function of the executor of the estate.
If no executor is nominated or the nominated executor is unable or refuses to accept the task, or if the person dies intestate, the master of the High Court will appoint an executor to the estate, this is called an Executor Dative. Those who want to take on the role of the executor should apply to, and must convince the Master of the High Court why they should be appointed. The Master generally prefers an executor who stands to inherit from the estate, and the primary beneficiary is preferable. All beneficiaries of an estate are asked to consent to the new executor, if there is a dispute, the master may appoint joint executors.
If you have been nominated as the executor of an estate and you feel intimidated by all the legal processes you are advised to approach a professional, such as an attorney or an accountant to assist you in administering the estate.
Executors fee’s are 3.5% of the gross value of the assets in the estate and 6% commission on interest which accrues after the date of the death. If you are the nominated executor it is possible to negotiate this fee with accountants and attorneys. All legal fees, executors fees, Master’s fees, etc will be paid out of the estate.