Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 300.00
Good Day, This is regarding a Deceased Estate and a Maintenance Claim that was put through the Estate.
I have recently find out by myself that the Maintenance Claim is fraudulent, as there has been Neurologist report that has been edited, for example, the Neurologist's signature has been scanned and placed. A whole paragraph has been added. (I have corresponded with the Neurologist).
The South African Government logos and stamps have all been scanned and placed. Affidavits, the same thing. (I do Graphic Design)
It also looks like an Estate Agency has been created to handle the two properties, as they are no longer on Google.
There has also been major issues with this Estate that I feel hasn't been handled properly.
I have written to the Master of the High Court that is handling this Estate and asked if they could take over the Estate so that they can investigate further.
My questions to you is:
As the sole beneficiary, am I allowed to choose who the Conveyancer would be? The Executor is insisting on doing it and I do not wish for him to do so.
I would now like to put a claim through to AIIF, how do I go about doing that? Where do I start?
Answer to the Question
Hi there Josette and thank you for your question,
As a beneficiary, you don't actually have any rights to dictate to the executor as to how he/she should do his/her job. The executor needs to wind up the estate, in terms of legislation, and to give effect to the deceased's wishes as set out in the Will.
If that means that the executor must appoint an estate agent to sell a property, or an auctioneer to auction off paintings, then that is what must happen. A similar argument is made in respect of who the conveyancer is to be. Many Executors are conveyancers themselves, so it is quite normal for them to instruct their own office in relation to the transfer of the property.
If you (as an heir / beneficiary) is not happy with a decision taken by the executor, then your recourse is to lay a complaint with the Master of the High Court.
If your complaint is that the executor appointed Estate Agent A while you wanted to appoint Estate Agent B, then the Master is not going to pay much attention to you. But if the complaint is that there was fraud in the appointment of the Estate Agent, then the Master WILL listen to you.
In relation to the Maintenance Claim, you must also complain to the Master and ask the Master to instruct the Executor to reject the claim. Give the Master reasons, and the Master will deal with the Executor.
If you feel that there are so many more irregularities, tell the Master. He might then remove the Executor and appoint somebody else. Let the new Executor deal with the old Executor in so far as any AIIF claim is concerned, because I don't think that you (as an heir) has locus standi to proceed with such a claim. It is the estate late which has the claim - represented by the Executor!
The Master is the person who needs to act in this situation.
If the Master refuses, then you could apply to the High Court to ask the Court to ORDER the Master to do XYZ. But that will come at a personal financial cost to you, and delays. If you want to go this route you really should hire an attorney to assist you - because it can get complicated quickly, especially since the Executor is most probably a lawyer himself...
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