Information in regards to a deceased estate
  • The deceased left no assets. – Should the estate still be reported at the Master?

In terms of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965,

An estate should only be reported to the Master if the deceased left assets and/or a will.

If the deceased did not leave any of the above, there is no duty on you to register the estate with the relevant Master / Magistrate.

  • How do I de-register / terminate a trust?

The Trust Property Control Act makes no provision for the deregistration of a trust.

Deregistration is an internal administrative action to facilitate the management of trust files in the Master’s Office.

The common law however makes provision for the termination of a trust by operation of law in the following circumstances, by statute, fulfillment of the object of the trust, failure of the beneficiary, renunciation or repudiation by the beneficiary, destruction of the trust property, or the operation of a resolutive condition. See Honore’s South African Law of Trusts 5th edition paragraph 343.

If a trust can be terminated on one of the above grounds then the Master will deregister a trust. For the termination of a trust the following documents are required:

A -The original letter of authority;

B – Bank statements reflecting a nil balance on the final statement;

C – Proof that the beneficiaries have received their benefits. Note the “Letter of Authority – J170” must be obtained from the Office of the Master

Upon receipt of the above documents the Master will deregister a trust which has been terminated. Please note that the above documents must be lodged with the Master with whom the Trust has been registered.

  • Can an estate be reported electronically with Master?

An estate cannot be reported electronically.

You must please post the original, completed documents to the relevant Master’s Office.


Many questions are looked for when it comes to deceased estates and trusts. Get Professional Assistance on the Matter

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