Sentinel International acknowledges an increase in enquiries about the status of deceased estates and the registration of new trusts.
We want to let you know that we are doing everything in our power to expedite both of these processes, but there are certain elements in the chain that are beyond our control and suffering from Covid-19 delays. These include:
- Master’s Office: We cannot complete or even begin the administration of an estate without a Letter of Executorship, which is issued by the Master’s Office. There are delays being reported countrywide, at all offices.
- Government Gazette: The Administration of Estates Act requires deceased estates to be advertised. Unfortunately the Government Gazette is experiencing publication delays, which is slowing the rest of the process.
- Banks: Every bank is under pressure at the moment. Simple requests are backlogged, such as providing interest statements, certificates of bank balances, confirmation of closed accounts and payment to deceased estates.
- Deeds Office: The Deed’s Office is experiencing delays with property transfers. Likewise, municipalities are dragging their heels when it comes to responding to outstanding rates queries and issuing the necessary clearance certificates.
The problems in these departments have been widely reported in the media. The Master’s Office, for one, has acknowledged the backlog and promised that staff members are working overtime to remedy the situation. There are plans in the works for an online registration process – Sentinel International will switch as soon as this facility becomes available.
We would like to assure you that we are in constant contact with all relevant institutions as we endeavour to provide you with the best possible service given these very trying circumstances.
Thank you for your support and understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Sentinel Management Team