Deceased Estate Transfer of Property: With and Without a Will

Deceased Estate Transfer of Property
Deceased Estate Transfer of Property
With and Without a Will

Deceased Estate Transfer of Property 

When the registered owner of a property passes away, their property forms part of what is called a deceased estate. The process that is followed for a deceased estate transfer of property is determined by the deceased’s Will and Testament, or absence thereof. In some cases the property is inherited and needs to be transferred to the heir named in the deceased’s Will and Testament.  

Should the deceased die without leaving a valid Will and Testament it may be transferred under the Intestate Succession Act No 81 of 1987.  

In some cases the Will and Testament can also state that the property gets sold out of the deceased estate to a buyer for a Purchase Price approved by the Executor of the deceased’s estate.  In this case an Offer to purchase will be signed by the Executor acting on behalf of the deceased estate and the buyer.

According to the Deeds Registries Act No. 47 of 1937, immovable property cannot be transferred to a new owner/buyer without going through the conveyancing procedure. In addition, the conveyancing process must be completed by a qualified conveyancer (who is an attorney that specialises in property transfers) to enable the property to be registered in the name of the new owner and to ensure that all the necessary legal steps are followed accordingly.

Only an executor appointed by the Master of the High Court in terms of Letters of Executorship can deal with the assets of the deceased person. This means the executor can instruct a Conveyancer to transfer a property out of the deceased estate. In most cases the appointed executor is a relative of the deceased, who acts with the assistance of a qualified professional, which is usually an attorney who specialises in the administration of deceased estates to help with the process.

Only the executor has the legal authority to administer a deceased estate. The goal is to guarantee that the deceased’s financial affairs are properly closed off and that the heirs’ financial interests are protected. No one may act on behalf of the deceased estate until an executor is appointed by the Master of the High Court. 

Deceased Estate Transfer of Property
With a Will
Deceased Estate Transfer of Property
With a Will

The Transfer of Property Process With a Will 

The executor is frequently specified in the deceased’s Will and Testament, and is usually someone that the deceased trusted to administer their inheritance. Upon receiving the Letter of Executorship, a conveyancing attorney will begin the process of transferring ownership from the deceased estate to the heirs or buyer, whichever is applicable. 

The Transfer of Property Process Without a Will 

Without a Will and Testament, one cannot name an executor. The intestate heirs of the deceased’s estate may propose or nominate an executor, but the final decision will be made by the Master of the High Court.

In absence of a Will and Testament, the deceased’s assets, including any immovable property, will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act No. 81 of 1987. The act specifies how the deceased’s inheritance must be distributed, and who is entitled to receive the deceased’s inheritance. 

Alan Levy Attorneys: Conveyancing Attorneys

Alan Levy Attorneys host a team of conveyancing attorneys with expertise in handling deceased estate transfers of property, ensuring that there are no unnecessary delays. Contact Alan Levy Attorneys if you require the services of qualified and knowledgeable conveyancing attorneys to assist with the transfer of a deceased estate property. 

More informative conveyancing content and news can be found here

This article does not constitute professional legal advice. It is intended as an educational and informative source of information on the subject of deceased estates and the transfer of property, the property transfer process with and without a will, and the conveyancing process in South Africa. It is advisable to seek professional legal assistance tailored to your unique circumstances in the event of a deceased estate, transfer of property to ensure that all legal requirements are met and to ensure that the transfer proceeds without delay. 

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