Death and frozen bank accounts. What is the process?

Posted on 05/20/2022

When you or a loved one passes away, the assets are frozen for the executor (person who is taking responsibility of the estate) to assess the value and decide the solvency of the estate.

While this is occurring, the family of the late estate will be having grief and have the admin of focusing on setting up a funeral. The other important admin includes that the late estate has to be reported to the office of the Master of the High Court in the regional jurisdiction where the late estate lived. It is a long process with a valid will and appointed executor but much longer if the estate dies intestate, i.e., without a will.

The question that is always asked is how will the family survive after the person dies and the accounts are frozen?

A judicial process starts which takes up to two years or longer. During this process, the validity of the will and testament is determined and assets are frozen. A new bank account will be appointed to the executor which the funds will be transferred. So, your family will not be able to access those funds for a period of time.

The positive towards having the bank account frozen is that no one will be able to make transactions on the account. If the estate had debit orders against their bank account, the debit orders will fail to collect and in turn, prevent the bank account funds from being depleted while the family cannot move the funds out the account.

It should also prevent ongoing bank fees from being levied against your account while your estate is wound up.

When reporting the deceased estate to the bank, the banks’ deceased estate departments will need to be contacted. The executor will contact the bank informing the bank the estate has passed away with the correct.

This could be a slow process and a struggle to reach the appropriate departments by phone and email.

What you may need to provide to the bank is the Letter of Executorship, ID of the deceased, ID of the executor, Power of Attorney, written and signed instructions of the executor and proof of the estate late new bank account.

At Bluett Maasdorp Attorneys, we administrate deceased estates and draft and execute wills for you so when the times comes, you are prepared without the extra stress.

Email us at info@bluettmaasdorp.co.za

For more information here: https://bluettmaasdorp.co.za/articles/projects/wills-trusts-and-deceased-estates/


Disclaimer
The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.
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