Estate Admin and Planning


Estate Planning & Administration

 Esselens Engelbrechts takes pride to be noted as amongst the best of the best performers in administration of deceased estates in Mpumalanga. Dedicated specialization ensures this expertise. In the context of all the poorer performances in this regards, by peers and competitors, we as a rule receive letters of executorship within 3-5 days after submitting the estate to the Master, and we complete 80% plus of the estate administration within 5-7 months after we took instruction.

Taking into account the practice enjoys accredited appraisers in its mids, and a sound performing conveyancing department, Esselens Engelbrechts is a one stop address for any/all estate related needs.

The administration of deceased estates is however again another service rendered that finds its credit also in the ambit of proper estate planning and estate management. As notaries we register a high number of ante nuptial contracts. Estate Planning is a lot more than marrying well, and than to have your will be executed professionally and quickly. Sapiens qui prospicet – wise is he that looks ahead!.

The wisdom of looking ahead and putting it into practice

Estate Planning is about reducing the risk of losing all your assets in a blow, if things would go wrong, on the one hand; and on the other: paying extensive amounts of money to the Receiver for hyper-planning and not applying your minds well to what is in the best interest of your affairs. Classically couples married out of community of property, to enable them to manage their estate goods dispensation, ensuring not al their assets are at risk, should time bring also risk and exposure… This is a simplification of matters. At most, an ante nuptial contract is the mere beginning of proper planning, and not the end of it. First plan, then work according to the plan. Apply our minds to your matters…. Why would you want to risk your properties, well acquired stuff that cost effort and where you sweat blood, and sacrifice that to new ventures on your way forward? We know what you should do and what you should avoid and what is legal and appropriate.

You wouldn’t want your life's work go to waste, due to not having a will, worse: due to a non-executable will. By proper pre-planning, you could spare your next of kin, and your business partners, trauma and inconvenience. Safeguarding the interests of your loved ones, is what matters. You should apply your mind to that. However, doing just that, requires specialised legal knowledge and evidenced expertise. Engelbrechts Esselens Inc. has specialised expertise, and if we combine your needs with our expertise, competence, thoroughness and sound advice, the needs of your family and minors shall have been taken care of.

Asset protection involves planning to protect your assets from future lawsuits or judgments by rearranging the ownership of the assets so that they are beyond the reach of potential creditors. The creation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies are common asset protection devices. Common methods of protecting personal assets from the risks of a business include creating a corporation, a limited partnership, a limited liability company, and a limited liability partnership or trusts. A trust is a legal entity or creature that is created when the person making the trust (the "settlor" or "grantor"), transfers ownership of certain property or assets to a "trustee." The trustee, in turn, is responsible for using the property or investing it for the benefit of a third party (the "beneficiary"), who was specified by the settlor when he or she made the trust.




Estate Planning also covers decedents' estates and probate; wills and intestacy; estates and future interests in property; trusts, gifts, and powers; annuities; and charitable bequests.

Probate covers admission of a will to probate and the subsequent proceedings, including the appointment and duties of a personal representative, procedures in probate, and ancillary proceedings.

Intestacy, on the other hand, refers to the general rules governing the disposition of the property of someone who dies intestate, i.e., without a will, or who leaves a will that fails to dispose of all assets.

   Esselens Engelbrechts Inc.

             Registration no 1999/016114/21 Vat no 4400183952


     Conveyancers  & Notaries 

Appraisers & Estate administrators

Estate Planning

Critical Self-analysis

Have you planned and organized your estate well?
  • Do you have a will? (Visit us for a free consulation to draft your will.. To arrange the meeting, simply click here to contact us by email. Or make an appointment to consult with one of our directors, Chris or Jan Engelbrecht - our office contact telephone numbers are as publised on the Footprint Page, to go there, click here.
  • Have you ever considered appropriating legal entities as mechanisms to reduce the risk of exposing all your assets to creditors and unforeseen risk? (Click here to learn more about the estbalishment of legal entities, incorporation of legal bodies and incidental corporate law matters)
  • Do you have sufficient cash available, in the event of death, to meet estate tax liabilities (also capital gain tax demands) and payment of estate and after death expenses? Your deceased estate will not leave your heirs and/or executor with the obligation and liability to relinquish valuable assets, as to satisfy the cash flow needs of your deceased estate?



Estate Planning Tools

Estate planning / information tools appropriated by Esselens Engelbrechts Inc include (but are not limited to)
  • Drafting of a Will
  • Family Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts and Taxes
  • Trusts for Minors
  • Corporations Trusts
  • Estate Planning Information Checklist
  • Transferring Property Outside Probate
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Marital Deduction Trusts
  • Wills & Probate
  • Offshore Trusts
  • Anticontest Provisions for Wills and Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts and BypassTrusts
  • Combining Assets After Marriage
  • Proper and effectice estate administration (our other field of expertise)


Proper estate planning enables the client to responsibly deal with critical matters, and enable client to address needs frequently riased, e.g.
  • What are the requirements for a will?
  • What happens if you die without a will?
  • Can a will be changed?
  • Can a guardian be appointed for children in one's will?
  • Can testators dispose of their property in any way they wish? How can a person contest a will?
  • Is joint tenancy a substitute for a will?
  • Must the will be read to the family?
  • Should testators leave a separate list disposing of personal property?
  • What are the executor or personal representative's duties and obligations?
  • Are most of the assets one acquired legally and properly beyond the reach of potential creditors?

Validity of wills

A valid will
The Wills Act 7 of 1953 mentions basic requirements for a will to be valid:
1. The will must be in writing (handwritten or typed or a computer printed document).
2. The testator must have signed the will - at the end thereof.
3. The signature of the testator must be made in the presence of two or more competent witnesses. Witnesses are considered competent if they are competent to give evidence in a court of law and older than 14 years old
4. Witnesses must attest and sign the will in the presence of the testator, and each other.
5. Should the will exceed a single page, each page must be signed by the testator.
If a will does not meet these requirements, it might be invalid.
Other law also impact on the validity of wills.
For example: statutory provisions direct that divorcees have three months following a divorce to amend their wills, during which time any bequest to an ex-spouse will be deemed revoked. Subsequent to that period, any bequest will devolve to the ex-spouse if the other party has not changed his/her will.
Minor children are unable to manage any inherited cash or property, hence, should a testator pass away, his/her/their bequests will fall to and be administered by the Master of the High Court’s Guardians Fund. Only upon reaching the age of majority, or getting married or in terms of a Court application, the money in the Guardian’s Fund can be claimed by children
Testators should be cautious about nominations.. who has been nominated as the executor of a testator’s will, who will be the guardian of the testator’s children or the trustees of a trust to be established on a testator’s death for the benefit of for example his/her spouse and children. Testators tend to nominate friends or family for these positions, not knowing that such a role may disqualify them from inheriting - if they too witness the signing of the will! Often, when making a will before there are children, testators will also not address issues relating to the legal guardianship or care of the children in the unfortunate event of the death of the parents.
It is advisable to revisit one’s will and update it to one’s particular circumstances. Also to be well advised by estate planning specialists.

Required when opening a file with us, in regards to the administration of the deceased estate