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recent statement, the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa
(FISA) called on all South African banks to investigate why it is
taking months to provide basic information to executors
administering deceased estates.
Even though it is easy to blame the public sector for the delays
experienced in finalising deceased estates, some banks have
informed estate administrators, including those at Barnard, that
their general turnaround time for a simple certificate of balance
can be up to 90 working days. This means that the administration
process could be delayed for over four months – just to
receive the information. This, of course, does not include the
process of receiving funds which could be another 90 working
The delay is significant as the Administration of Estates Act
only provides six months for the submission of the Liquidation and
Distribution Account, so the banks are making it tremendously
difficult for administrators to deliver a professional service to
clients, while still complying with the Act. It is a relief that
the Act provides for applications to extend the lodgment of the
Liquidation and Distribution Account, but this in turn causes
additional administrative backlogs at the Master’s Office
– all which could be avoided if the banks kept to their
initial promises towards their deceased clients in which they
promised to deliver exceptional services.
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