If you are dealing with the estate administration of a person who died owning assets in South Africa you may have been asked to provide a Grant of Probate in South Africa or a Resealed Grant of Probate.
But what is a Resealed Grant of Probate? and how and where can you obtain this so that you can release the assets located in South Africa?
If you are the executor or administrator of the estate of someone who owned assets in South Africa, whether it is land/property in South Africa, cash in a South African bank account or shares in a South African Company, see the Frequently Asked Questions below to help guide you towards obtaining a reseal of a Grant of Probate and successfully releasing the South African assets in the estate.
I am dealing with the estate of someone who died with assets in South Africa. What do I need to do?
If a person dies owning assets located in South Africa, the person entitled to deal with their estate will need to sort out these assets so that they can either be sold or transferred to the beneficiaries.
If there are assets in South Africa, the person dealing with the estate will usually need to either apply for a South African Grant of Probate or arrange to have the Grant of Probate (or equivalent document) from the country where the deceased person lived “confirmed” in South Africa.
The process of having the Grant of Probate confirmed in South Africa is called “resealing the Grant of Probate”.
If a Grant of Probate has been obtained in England or Wales it is generally easier and cheaper to get this Grant of Probate resealed in South Africa rather than applying for a new South African Grant of Probate.
When is it necessary to obtain a resealed Grant of Probate to deal with South African assets?
If a Grant of Probate has already been obtained in the country where the deceased person lived and there are assets located in South Africa, it is likely that a reseal of the Grant of Probate will be required in South Africa.
Whether the reseal will be necessary may depend on the value of the assets located in South Africa. If the asset is of a particularly low value a resealed Grant of Probate may not be required. You should contact the relevant bank or share registrar in South Africa to find out their requirements.
If the asset is a property however, a South African Grant of Probate or a resealed Grant of Probate will always be required.
I have a Grant of Letters of Administration not a Grant of Probate. Will this be recognised in South Arica and can it be re-sealed in South Africa?
Both a Grant of Probate and a Grant of Letters of Administration can be resealed in South Africa.
Do I need to instruct a South African lawyer to obtain a Re-sealed Grant of Probate?
Obtaining a reseal in South Africa of a Grant of Probate obtained in the country where the deceased was domiciled requires an understanding of South African legal rules and will include an application to the Court in South Africa.
Most people dealing with an estate where there are assets in South Africa choose to instruct a lawyer in South Africa to obtained the reseal of the Grant of Probate.
A lawyer in South Africa with experience of dealing with international succession issues will be able to efficiently obtain the resealed Grant of Probate in South Africa to enable you to release the estate assets in South Africa. They will also be able to arrange for the South African assets to be sold or transferred to the beneficiaries as required.
We can put you in touch with an experienced lawyer in South Africa who can assist in obtaining the resealed Grant of Probate in South Africa and arrange for the South African assets to be sold or transferred to the beneficiaries of the estate.