Changes to the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965 and the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987

March 1st, 2015
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By Maurice Alexander

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services repealed and confirmed the changes to the amounts in respect of the following sections of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965 –

• s 18(3);

• s 80(2)(a);

• s 80(2)(b); and

• s 90(1) (see GN R920 GG38238/38238/24-11-2014).

It is important for all practitioners to note that the amounts in respect of the above sections have now been increased to R 250 000 from its previous limit of R 150 000, which implies the following:

• In terms of s 18(3), if the value of the estate exceeds R 250 000, letters of executorship must be issued and the full process prescribed by the Administration of Estates Act must be followed. However, if the value of the estate is less than R 250 000, the Master may dispense with letters of executorship, and issue letters of authority.

• In terms of s 80(2)(a), the Master may at any time authorise ‘any alienation of immovable property belonging to a minor or to a person for the administration of whose property a tutor or curator has been appointed, if the value of the particular property to be alienated does not exceed the amount … [R 250 000] … and the alienation would be in the interest of the minor or of such person, as the case may be’.

• In terms of s 80(2)(b) the Master may at any time authorise ‘any mortgage of any such immovable property to an amount not exceeding in the case of any one such minor or person, the amount … [of R 250 000] … if the mortgage is necessary for the preservation or improvement of the property or for the maintenance, education or other benefit of such minor or person, as the case may be’.

• In terms of s 90(1): ‘The Master may, subject to subsection (2) and subject to the terms of any will or written instrument disposing of the money or, in the case of a tutor or curator, by which the tutor or curator has been nominated, pay to the natural guardian or to the tutor or curator, or for and on behalf of the minor or other person concerned, so much of any moneys standing to the credit of the minor or other person in the guardian’s fund as may be immediately required for the maintenance, education or other benefit of the minor or other person or any of his dependants, or for any purpose referred to in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iv) of paragraph (c) of the proviso to section 82, or for any investment in immovable property within the Republic or in any mortgage over such immovable property on behalf of the minor or other person, approved by the Master: Provided that, subject to the terms of any such will or instrument, the aggregate of the payments made in the case of any minor or other person for purposes of maintenance, education or other benefit shall not, without the sanction of the court, exceed … [R 250 000] … of the capital amount received for account of the minor or other person concerned’.

The Minister also repealed and fixed the amount in respect of s 1(1)(c)(i) of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 and it is important for all practitioners to note that the change has the following implication:

• In terms of s 1(1)(c)(i), if after the commencement of the Act a person dies intestate, either wholly or in part, and is survived by a spouse as well as a descendant, such spouse shall inherit a child’s share of the intestate estate or so much of the intestate estate as does not exceed R 250 000, whichever is the greater.

Maurice Alexander LLB (UWC) is a candidate attorney at Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc in Cape Town.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2015 (March) DR 13.

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