Movable assets in South Africa of a deceased who was ordinarily resident in another state – Section 20 of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965 and the relevance thereof to legal practitioners

With the percentage of South African citizens immigrating to other countries increasing yearly, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that many of these individuals will most likely spend the rest of their lives in that country. This means that they will most likely concluded their last will and testament there.

Most of these citizens who have immigrated may still have movable assets in South Africa at the date of their death, accordingly, these assets will have to be dealt with according to the Administration of Estates Act No. 66 of 1965 (“the Act”). This in turn means that one will have to apply for a South African death certificate, have a South African executor appointed by the Master, in terms of the deceased’s last will and testament, apply for letters of authority, provide security, and so forth. This process will be quite time consuming and the general belief is that the legislature also realised this and accordingly made provision therefore in section 25 of the Act.

The legislature has thus created an efficient manner of dealing with the moveable assets of a deceased, who is no longer resident in the Republic at the time of his or her death.

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