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Jonathan De Jager

Attorney | BCOM LAW | LLB

30 December | 2022


What does an executor do?

The general duty of the executor is to administer and distribute your estate according to your will. These duties include clarifying the interpretation of your will, locating the beneficiaries, collecting information on all assets and liabilities of your estate, among other things. Even though you nominate the executor, it is only the High Court who can appoint one.

Is it not better to have a family member handle my estate?

It has become a common practise for people to appoint their family members as executors. However, it is important to note that administering an estate is no easy task. For those executors hoping to cash in, only persons mentioned in the regulations by the Minister of Justice may charge remuneration for administration of the estate. These mentioned professionals include practising accountants, lawyers and registered trust companies.

So what must I consider?

Before appointing a family member, consider the complex task they will be faced with, not only will it be difficult dealing with the workload but also dealing with your passing at an emotionally difficult time. Mixing business and personal relations at that time create an unnecessary burden. Sure, you do save on fees charged by professionals, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the person dealing with your estate is skilled and unbiased.

There is the option of nominating co-executors with an independent executor but that will only delay proceedings more.

So before you appoint someone, find a professional to help you draft your will and decide whom you nominate.