FNB Namibia explains deceased estates

It is wise to ensure all documents pertaining to last wills and estates are in place and are updated on a regular basis. A trusted company must be employed to handle such to ensure peace of mind for grieving families, says FNB Namibia.

Following a media statement on last wills and testaments the bank recently released, both its customers and the general public, have since posed a number of questions, [especially] regarding the administrative process of a deceased estate.

Operational manager of FNB Trust Services, Elna Brink, therefore says: “Loosing a family member is probably the most difficult situation anybody will ever face. On a personal and emotional level, there may be loneliness and a sense of loss. If the practical realities of concern about money, financial security and the future of the deceased’s possessions are added to the mix, the pressure becomes enormous and sometimes even too severe to cope with.”

Below is an explained version of the administration process.

Date of Death: Family to obtain death certificate; establish whether a will exists; put deceased’s papers and documents in order.

Preliminary interview: Nominated executor must establish whether a will exists; who potential beneficiaries are and an idea of the assets and liabilities in the estate. Nominated executor to assist family to complete the necessary documentation.

Application for appointment as executor: Master of the High Court to formally appoint the executor and grant him the necessary powers to administer the estate. The length of time this process takes depends on the Master’s Office, although every effort is taken to avoid unnecessary delays.

Advertise for creditors on Government gazette; local papers. Creditors must have 30 days to lodge any claim.

Liquidation and distribution account: Details of assets and liabilities to be obtained; final tax return submitted. Account shows a ‘snapshot’ of all assets and liabilities, the anticipated inheritance and beneficiaries, as well as income and expenditure items arising after date of death.

Advertise liquidation and distribution account for inspection on Government gazette and local papers; lies for inspection for a period of 21 days; possible objections are lodged with the Master. One has the opportunity to review the account before it is finally approved.

Distribution of estate: Obtain release from Receiver of Revenue; pay creditors; prepare cash statement; distribute assets; transfer fixed property. Inheritance to you is finalised.

Sign-off by Master of High Court: Executor provides the High Court with proof that creditors have been paid and assets distributed. Estate finalised and executor's duties discharged.